Uhuru to chair United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal

Sunday, June 26th, 2022 17:23 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/Courtesy

President Uhuru Kenyatta will co-chair the second United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon with his Portugal counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and UN Secretary-General António Guterres on June 27.

The conference, which is being co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya was initially scheduled for the year 2020 but was postponed to this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is aimed at accelerating the adoption of science-based innovative solutions to challenges facing oceans and the global marine ecosystem, the Kenyan presidency said in a statement on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the Kenyan Head of State’s arrival in Lisbon, Kenya’s ambassador to Portugal, Prof Judi Wakhungu revealed that besides the UN meeting, President Uhuru Kenyatta will pay a two-day state visit to the Portuguese Republic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our two Heads of State will be presiding over the high-level opening of the ocean conference together with the UN Secretary-General.”

“This is very special. It is historic because this is the first time in history that a Kenyan Head of State has been recognized by our hosts, the Republic of Portugal,” Prof Wakhungu said in reference to the two-day state visit.

Ambassador Wakhungu said that despite the global meeting having been postponed twice in the past due to COVID-19, Kenya and Portugal were ready to co-host a successful 2022 UN Ocean Conference. The two countries were declared hosts for the conference after the 2017 inaugural UN Ocean Conference co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden in New York.

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