Kutesa meets UN chief

By Vision Reporter

Foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York on Monday.

By Henry Mukasa

Foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York on Monday.

Kutesa presided over the Security Council’s debate on post-conflict peace building yesterday.

The Ugandan mission said in a statement that the Secretary-General commended Uganda for playing a positive role on the council, in the Burundi peace process and the stabilisation of Somalia.

Uganda has sent peace-keepers to Somalia where Islamists are putting pressure on the government.

Uganda took the chairmanship of the Security Council in January, with former internal affairs minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda as permanent representative. Rugunda chaired council meetings throughout this month.

Kutesa, according to the statement, appreciated the support which the UN has provided to promote peace and security in the Great Lakes region.

Rugunda and his deputy, Ambassador Patrick Mugoya attended Kutesa’s meeting with the UN chief.

Ki-Moon, in a report, outlined measures to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“It is high time to turn the promise of the responsibility to protect into practice,” he asserted.

Agreed to by world leaders in 2005, the responsibility to protect, or R2P, holds states responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide and human rights abuses and requires the international community to step in if this is not met.

“This universal and irrevocable commitment was made at the highest level. Our common task now is to deliver on this historic pledge to the peoples of the world,” Ki-Moon told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The report was debated by the 192-member assembly yesterday. It rests on three pillars: state responsibility; international assistance and capacity-building; and timely and decisive response in times of crises.

The secretary general explained that victims of such crimes should not be forgotten.

“Those losses have permanently stained the history of the 20th century. Together, in this century, we can chart a different course,” he stated.

He warned against complacency and cynicism, which he said often prevented the UN from acting as effectively as it should.

“Our public judged us then, and found us wanting. They will be watching again this week, and they will – rightfully – judge us harshly if we treat these deliberations as politics as usual,” Ban Ki-Moon told the assembly.

Kutesa meets UN chief