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On 12 December, 2016 Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Sam Kutesa, met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. They exchanged views on the main peace, security and humanitarian challenges facing the region, including recent developments in South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and Burundi.
Hon. Kutesa thanked the Secretary-General for his partnership and friendship and commended him for his commitment and steadfast efforts on behalf of people around the world. He underscored that working together Member States and particularly Uganda had achieved important milestones. "Chief among these", said Kutesa, "was the landmark agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa agreement on a financing framework for the agenda. Hon. Kutesa emphasized that Uganda's commitment to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has remained steadfast, and that over 76% of the SDGs, have been mainstreamed in the National Development Programme.
Commending Secretary-General Ban for prioritizing and directing of UN efforts on climate change and welcome the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, Hon. Kutesa raised the issue of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change informing that Uganda ratified it and the Instrument was deposited at the Ratification ceremony organized in September 2016. In line with President Museveni's recent declaration of "war on environmental degradation" Hon Kutesa informed the Secretary-General that scaling-up climate financing through honoring previous commitments, remains an outstanding issue. He reiterated Uganda's request for financing of its National Wetlands Restoration Project to the Green Climate Fund as one project that requires expeditious review and approval.
Under UN/AU Cooperation Hon Kutesa commended Secretary-General Ban for efforts in enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in operations that ranged from early response to peacekeeping. He stressed Logistical support for AMISOM as a case in point that has facilitated AMISOM stabilization efforts in Somalia. He pledged to work with the in-coming Secretary-General to strengthen this cooperation further.
The Secretary-General expressed gratitude for Uganda's sacrifices in Somalia, and to the Ugandan troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for helping ensure a secure environment for the federal electoral process there. He highlighted the importance of Uganda's engagement in the peace process in South Sudan and stressed the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a revitalization of the political process.
With regard to the UN Regional Service Center in Entebbe, Hon Kutesa expressed appreciation that the UN Secretariat under Mr Ban's tenure came up with the Global Field Support Strategy (GFSS) which led to the transitioning of a UN Logistical base (MONUC) in Entebbe to a Regional Service Center. Government has been supportive and is committed to provide support for its expansion.
Addressing the primary reason for his visit to New York, Hon Kutesa raised the Refugee Situation in Uganda. He informed the Secretary-General that Uganda is hosting record numbers of refugees, with over 895,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, more than at any time in the country's history. Uganda expected to pass the one million mark before end of the year. He raised Uganda's appeal that the gap between humanitarian and development assistance be addressed urgently.
The Secretary-General expressed gratitude for Uganda's generosity towards refugees and its progressive settlement approach. He reiterated the United Nations support to the Government's agenda on empowering refugees and host communities.
© 2017 Ministry of Foreign Affairs