President Uhuru Kenyatta has said there is an urgent need to improve readiness in the area of global crisis management.
Uhuru on Wednesday said a time has come for governments to effectively take urgent, coordinated and collective measures to build resilience that would insulate societies and economies against the adverse effects of such pandemic and crisis.
Uhuru was making his presentation during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Uhuru said the COVID-19 pandemic should give the UN Member states a fresh impetus to their collective efforts to strengthen international cooperation.
“This global pandemic has deepened unfortunately existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. It has created an unprecedented synergy of challenges and demonstrated the limits of our institutions,” he said.
The head of State said mankind is confronted by complex, multifaceted and gravely serious challenges.
“Across the world, we are witnessing constant disruptions that are generating great anxiety, uncertainty and unpredictability. The COVID-19 pandemic best defines the challenges of our time; a challenge that affects us all, a challenge that we can only overcome if each of us succeeds,” Uhuru said.
He added, “The COVID-19 pandemic and other contemporary challenges including the climate and biodiversity crisis that we face, our growing geostrategic tensions, social as well as economic inequalities, the crisis of legitimacy and governance as well as the vulnerabilities of our digital world have, indeed, redefined the imperative for multilateral action”.
Uhuru said Kenya believes strongly that if governments remain anchored in multilateralism and with unity of purpose, agile in embracing change and positive transformations, rooted in a rule-based international system and act innovatively and selflessly, they can transcend the challenges and secure lasting peace and prosperity for all.
“On this occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, “We the People of the United Nations” must rekindle the Idealism, Will and Spirit of the San Francisco conference that founded our great organization,” he said.
Uhuru said Kenya had to undertake special and targeted efforts by setting up a national multi-agency team on COVID-19 to ensure such appropriate interventions.
“We have revamped and expanded our national and county health care systems. The interventions that we have taken have targeted the old and the vulnerable, the unemployed and our youth and specific programmes to keep them healthy and productively engaged. We have also recognized that this pandemic has in itself produced the challenges of gender inequality and more so gender violence,” he said.
He said his administration has introduced financial and tax interventions to keep the economy and businesses viable and solvent.
And like everyone else, introduced social health measures including cessation of travel, social distancing, the wearing of masks and improved hygiene for all. And this has been achieved to the best of our abilities within an environment of constitutional civil liberties and rights to prosperity and development of all our citizenry,”Uhuru said.
He added, “What we have learnt in the past six months is that no country and I repeat again no country can manage a crisis of this magnitude on its own. We have had to work collectively in order to build back better”.
Uhuru said the global community should enhance cooperation and assistance to developing countries in vulnerable situations so as to bolster their economies and health care systems; and to achieve Universal Health Coverage as envisioned in the 2019 UHC political declaration.