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Kutesa holds talks with US Secretary of State Kerry

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th June 2014 08:57 AM

The president-elect of the United Nations General Assembly and Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa has held talks with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC on peace and security in the region.

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The president-elect of the United Nations General Assembly and Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa has held talks with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC on peace and security in the region.

By Vision Reporter

The president-elect of the United Nations General Assembly and Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa has held talks with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC on peace  and security in the region.

Kutesa also shared with Kerry the priorities he outlined for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, according to a statement issued over the weekend from Uganda’s UN Mission.

“Kutesa and secretary Kerry discussed regional peace and security matters and agreed that Uganda and the US will continue working closely to find solutions to regional challenges, especially that of the LRA,” the statement read.

The meeting took place on June 12, a day after Kutesa was elected.

Kutesa and Kerry also exchanged views on the upcoming US-Africa Leaders’ Summit due to take place in Washington DC on August 5-6, under the theme: “Investing in the next generation.” President Yoweri Museveni is one of the leaders invited to Washington for the summit to be hosted by US president Barack Obama.

As president, Kutesa will preside over the United Nations General Assembly for a one year starting September 16 for which he has chosen the theme: “Delivering on and implementing a transformative post-2015 development agenda.”

The meeting was attended by Ambassador James Mugume, the foreign ministry’s permanent secretary, Ambassador Oliver Wonekha, Uganda’s envoy to the US, Dr. Richard Nduhura, Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN as well as senior foreign ministry officials.

Kerry congratulated Kutesa on his election and pledged US support during the 69th session. Kutesa was on June 11 unanimously elected by acclamation as president of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

In his acceptance speech, Kutesa underlined that his election reflected the international community’s recognition of Uganda’s positive role and contribution throughout its 52-year membership to the work of the UN.

Kutesa is replacing John W. Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda. Kutesa undertook to closely work with the UN in finding solutions to different global challenges confronting humanity including poverty and hunger, climate change and rising sea-levels, inadequate and expensive energy, armed conflicts, and emerging threats to peace and security; such as terrorism, piracy and human trafficking.

He outlined his priorities during the presidency as the formulation of a transformative post-2015 development agenda, climate change, revitalisation of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council.

Others are enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes and peacebuilding, enhancement of the alliance of civilisations, and advancement of gender equality and empowerment of women.

Kutesa told the press in New York that he has suspended his interests in all his businesses, including in the Entebbe airport cargo handling company, ENHAS.

The presidency of the United Nations General Assembly rotates among the six global regions — Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. But the nationals of the five veto-wielding countries —France, US, Russia, Britain and France — do not vie for this position.

The last time Africa provided a president of the United Nations General Assembly was in 2009 with Libyan diplomat, Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki.

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