First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with the award
The United Nations family in Kenya commemorated the 69th anniversary of the United Nations with pomp and color at the UN offices in Gigiri, Nairobi by selecting and presenting the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta with the United Nations Award of the Year.
The First Lady earned the coveted title for her efforts to stop preventable maternal and newborn deaths in the country. She was selected for successfully raising awareness and funds to address the plight of women and children in need of quality healthcare.
The First lady, moved by the gesture by the UN family, in her acceptance speech said, “I am humbled with the recognition that you confer on me today, and I would like to dedicate this award to all of you, the Kenyan men and women who join me every day in the fight to reduce maternal and early childhood deaths .... We are not there yet but we shall get 'Beyond Zero'.”
The UN also recognized, Fanice Lisiagali of Health Care Assistance Kenya (HAK) for her commitment and efforts in creating a rapid response system for survivors of Gender Based Violence(GBV).
Other features included exhibitions by various UN agencies, entities and programs on the work of the United Nations.
In her speech Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde, UNON Director-General praised Kenya for being a unique base for UN activities, “Kenya is home for a unique United Nations presence: United Nations offices at Nairobi, UN head quarters in Africa and the global head quarters of two very important programs United Nations environment Program, UNEP and UN-Habitat.
The Resident Coordinator Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, in her presentation took stock of Kenya’s progress in the attainment of MDGs.
From the Kenya Government, Ambassador Amina Mohamed said “We are impelled and compelled to reform the United Nations if it is to effectively speak to the pressing challenges we are all experiencing today. At the political level, we need a democratized model of decision making. This is why Kenya is a champion of universal mentorship of UN bodies.”
Other guests included members of the diplomatic core, Joan Clos, Achim Steiner, Executive Directors of UN Habitat and UNEP respectively, UN staff members, high school and university students.
Over five hundred guests attended the function. UNIC Director, Nasser Ega-Musa moderated the days programme.