Sunday June 22 2014

Kutesa lists targets for his UN tenure


Kampala- The newly elected president of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Sam Kutesa, has outlined a list of priorities he intends to achieve during his one-year tenure at the helm of the international body.

Mr Kutesa, who is also Uganda’s minister for Foreign Affairs, said women, who constitute 50 per cent of the population and are mothers to the other 50 per cent, feature high on his priority list.

“It will be my priority to enhance empowerment of women,” he told a briefing of ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls of various diplomatic missions in Kampala on Friday morning.

Mr Kutesa, who will be in the chair when the first target of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) falls due, said the target of 17 goals was too ambitious and he intended to see if they could be reviewed with the aim of focusing on realistically achievable targets.
The UN had set a target of 2015 to achieve at least eight of the 17 goals.

Mr Kutesa said to achieve the targets, there will be need to involve and define a role for the private sector, which must be provided incentives sufficient to attract profit minded people.

He said he hopes to achieve an internationally binding agreement on climate change.

He also says he will also focus on promoting conflict resolution and that goes hand in hand with peace building, saying handled separately, a conflict has a window period of only one year.

The Trinidad and Tobago ambassador, Mr Patrick Edwards, dean of the diplomatic corp, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts, assured Mr Kutesa of their continued support.

Ambassaor Sofie Makami of France said as the European Union, they were happy to see Mr Kutesa align his priorities with those that the EU cherishes.
Mr Kutesa was elected in New York this month to chair the UN General Assembly for a year.