30 April 1996

Press Release


19960430 Following is the text of the statement by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at a reception given in his honour in Nairobi on Sunday, 28 April, hosted by Kenya's Vice-President and Minister of Planning and National Development, George Saitoti:

Your Excellency, thank you for your kind words of welcome. I am always pleased to visit Kenya and Nairobi where I have been coming with some frequency over the last 30 years.

This visit, however, is of particular interest as it marks the first meeting of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), the twice- yearly meeting of executive heads of all United Nations organizations and agencies, in a developing country. From Nairobi, the values of the United Nations, especially in the areas of environment, housing and development, will go out to the African continent and to the world.

To Nairobi and the African continent and the developing world, the United Nations system, with its programmes, agencies and funds, will offer cooperation which the family of nations owes to its Member States.

We are also here, in Nairobi, for another reason. I am particularly concerned that the spotlight of the world attention should be on Africa. True, there have been some remarkable success stories in Africa. But the Continent as a whole, with the greatest number of conflicts, with the greatest number of refugees and displaced persons, and with the fatigue of donor States, is in danger of marginalization.

By holding the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, by holding the ninth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD IX) in Midrand, South Africa, by holding its ACC meeting here in Nairobi, where historic strides were made by the world community for the advancement of women in 1985, the United Nations signifies its intention to put a stop to the marginalization of Africa, to reverse this marginalization, and to cooperate with Africans on their course to prosperity and peace. It is thus that I understand the United Nations System-Wide Initiative on Africa which we launched last month. It is thus that the presence in Nairobi of the executive heads of the United Nations family must be understood today.

I ask you to join me in a toast for our host, the Government of President arap Moi, the people of Kenya, and for Africa. Long live Africa!

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For information media. Not an official record.