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Nairobi, November 18, 2010

President Mwai Kibaki in a group photo with delegates to the Global Peace Convention after the official opening of the Conference at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi.

Kenyans urged to support implementation of the new Constitution

President Mwai Kibaki has urged Kenyans to support the implementation of the new Constitution as it will usher in a new era of stability, peace and prosperity.

The President pointed out that the new Constitutional order provides wananchi with an opportunity to transform the nation as it addresses many of the challenges the country has faced in the past.

“The successful implementation of the Constitution will pay a peace dividend,” the Head of State said.

In this regard, the Head of State urged each and every Kenyan to take personal responsibility in their shared duty of building a cohesive and peaceful country.

President Kibaki was speaking today when he officially opened the 2010 Global Peace Convention at Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

The Head of State, at the same time, said his Government has initiated a number of programmes to promote the role of the youth in promoting peace and national cohesion.

President Kibaki also urged the foundation to enhance youth participation in national peace building and reconciliation agenda, saying it will inspire a new generation of peace thinkers and peace leaders.

The President observed that the programmes implemented through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports include boosting the capacity of young people in peace building, conflict prevention and resolution; conducting mass peace campaigns among the youth and mobilizing them to support community peace initiatives through music, sports and youth caravans.

The Head of State added that, through the programmes, the youth are also involved in tree planting under the “Trees for Jobs” and Kazi Kwa Vijana programmes in order to promote environmental conservation, with a view to reducing conflicts caused by environmental degradation.

“The Government recognizes the unique role young people play in society. Consequently, we will continue to empower them to play an active role in their respective communities through diverse programmes in peace building and reconciliation,” President Kibaki said.

Saying the Global Peace Convention is relevant to the nation as it comes at a time when the country is still addressing the post election challenges, the President said the speedy resolution of the post election challenges is testimony of the Kenya ’s commitment to peaceful resolution of any differences.

Stressing that peaceful resolution of differences is a great virtue which Kenyans must cultivate and nurture, President Kibaki challenged wananchi to forge forward with the agenda of national cohesion as well as the reconciliation and healing process.

“These commitments are vital as they address any mistrust, bitterness or animosity that may undermine peace,” the Head of State said.

Besides domestic commitments, the President said Kenya is also at the frontline in promoting peace not only within the region but also in the world at large by participating in peacekeeping missions as well as ratifying peace protocols at the regional and international levels.

He observed that over the years Kenya has been actively engaged in the settlement of disputes involving its neighbors through negotiations, reconciliation and arbitration.

President Kibaki said Kenya continues to play a key role in the search for lasting peace in the Sudan and Somalia and called on the international community to support the efforts of IGAD towards addressing the security situation in Somalia .

“We must also ensure that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the Sudan is fully implemented,” the Head of State said.

Noting that the process of voter registration has begun ahead of the referendum set for January next year, the President appealed to the people of Sudan to give peace a chance, as they determine the future of their country.

Speaking during the occasion, Ethiopian President Gilma Wolde Giorgis called for greater effort of the international community in restoration of peace in the horn of Africa .

Mr Giorgis noted with regret that the situation in Somalia continued to be a source of great pain to countries in Africa and the World.

On Sudan , The Ethiopian leader called on parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) to exercise wisdom to overcome the challenges being faced as the country decides its destiny in the January Referendum.

Mr Giorgis said what happened in Sudan affects the country’s nine neighbours and the continent as a whole.

He paid glowing tribute to President Kibaki and the people of Kenya for the leading role the country has played in brokering peace in the Horn of Africa.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka called for religious tolerance in Sudan to maintain peace after the national referendum slated for January next year.

The Vice President, at the same time, urged parties to the CPA on Sudan to accept the fact that they are “one family under God” so as to overcome the challenges that threaten peace.

On Somalia , Mr Kalonzo impressed on the various factions fighting for supremacy in Somalia to rise above clanism and heed calls by the international community to reconcile and live harmoniously.

"It is unfortunate that Somalis who all belong to the same religion and as Muslims recognize the supremacy of Allah continued fighting one another", the Vice President said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga stressed the importance of peace as key to development and crucial in the fight against other enemies of humanity including ignorance, poverty, diseases and bad governance.

Saying that Kenya enjoyed worldwide goodwill after promulgation of the new constitution, mr. Odinga urged Kenyans to inculcate the values of unity and patriotism to deal with ethnicity.

Others who spoke Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoti, the founder and chairman Global Peace Festival Foundation Dr Hyun Jin Moon and the Chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Council for the GPFF Dr. Manu Chandaria.

Thanking Kenyans for passage of the new constitution, Dr Moon said under the new order, the country was undergoing transformation.

Dr Moon specifically praised Kenya ’s constitution for protecting the sanctity of marriage and families in line with the Convention of “One Family under God”.

In attendance were participants drawn from across the member countries of GPFF and an array of Youth from various parts of the Country.




©2010 State House, Nairobi Kenya