President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta vowed on Wednesday his government will enhance its counter-terrorism efforts in Eastern Africa by working with regional governments and partners.
Kenyatta who spoke during a virtual meeting of the Aqaba Process on COVID-19 convened by King Abdullah II of Jordan told the global community that Kenya will leverage on its membership in the UN Security Council to contribute more to global peace and security.
“Through Kenya’s non-permanent member seat at the United Nations Security Council, Kenya further aims to contribute to global peace and security, with the ultimate goal being the attainment of sustainable development for the year 2021-2022,” he said according to a statement issued after the meeting.
The meeting brought together several global leaders among them Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to discuss the nexus between the COVID-19 pandemic and global security.
Kenyatta said Kenya aims to provide leadership in the Horn of Africa by exploring and implementing diplomatic measures in counter-terrorism financing and to work with partners in the broader spectrum of efforts within counter-terrorism, as well as to stem other forms of transnational organized crime.
Kenyatta said frontline states in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism should be assisted by strengthening their capacities to deal with both emerging and pre-existing security challenges in order to address security challenges made worse by COVID-19.
He said pandemic is a catalyst to global insecurity by amplifying pre-existing security and contributing socio-economic difficulties.
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for underlying risk trends, with many countries facing sharply deteriorating political, security, criminal and governance situations,” said Kenyatta.
He said the pandemic had slowed down global and regional crisis and conflict resolution efforts thereby escalating tensions and negating peace-building gains made over the years.
The Kenyan leader said the virus had heightened potential for terrorist acts, worsened the refugee crisis and led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.