BY KEVIN MUNGWANA IN NEW YORK
Kenya’s President William Ruto will give his maiden speech as the leader of the East African nation at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States, next week.
The newly elected head of state leaves the country on Sunday, and will be in time for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in London, UK, on Monday, before taking a flight to New York where he will join other heads of State and Government for the 77th assembly of nations which opened on Tuesday, Sep 13th and runs until the 27th of the same month, according to an itinerary seen by ksnmedia.com.
“The president is preparing to attend those two very critical global platform engagements,” said a source at State House Nairobi on Friday, without elaborating.
Ruto, who was sworn in on Tuesday, has had a very busy itinerary so far and all eyes are on him as the country awaits the unveiling of unveil his cabinet.
“He is giving priority to those two prime events and will not name his cabinet until he returns on Wednesday next week,” said the source who sought anonymity.
“Those two events are very important for any leader worth his salt, and Ruto wouldn’t miss them for anything,” said John Mwathi, a political analyst.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the Organization. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.
The UNGA also makes key decisions for the UN, including:
- appointing the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council
- electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council
- approving the UN budget
The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items, which lead to the adoption of resolutions.
Sitting arrangements in the General Assembly Hall change for each session. During the 77th Session (2022-2023), Belize will occupy the first seat in the Hall, including in the Main Committees (followed by all the other countries, in English alphabetical order).
Kenya observed a three-day national mourning period in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, who died yesterday aged 96.
Queen Elizabeth will be buried at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Her father, King George VI, and her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, are already buried there, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
The days leading up to the burial will include a period of national mourning and a state funeral for the late queen. In recent days, the queen’s casket has traveled from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the beloved estate where she died, stopping at multiple locations before arriving at Buckingham Palace.
President Ruto signed a condolence book on Thursday at the UK high Commissioner’s residence in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a circular dated September 9, 2022, directed that the country mourns the queen from today, Friday, till sunset on Monday, September 12.
“That the flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast at State House and all Kenyan diplomatic missions, public buildings and public grounds, all military bases, posts, and stations, on all naval vessels of the Republic of Kenya, and however elsewhere throughout the Republic of Kenya; from dawn on today until sunset on Monday, September 12, 2022,” Kenyatta ordered.
On Fiday, Ruto met the Kenya Kwanza aligned legislators and used the opportunity to rally his team to expedite his agenda in both the Senate and the National Assembly.