Address by H. E. President Daniel Arap Moi, President of the Republic of Kenya
18. At the 2nd plenary meeting of the session, the Executive Director of UNEP presented H. E. President Daniel arap Moi, President of the Republic of Kenya, with a Global 500 Award for his outstanding contribution, both nationally and internationally, to the cause of the environment.
19. In his address to the Council, President Moi said that the environmental problems that the Council was called on to address were human in origin and global in nature; their solution would therefore require both human intervention and global action and co-operation. Climate change and depletion of the ozone layer were the greatest challenges of the time. It was therefore important for all States to accede to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
20. Stressing the need for an international treaty to control trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes, he said that the Basel Convention was individuals engaging in unlawful operations that polluted the environment. In the same vein, African and other developing countries must refuse to allow their territories to be turned into dumping grounds by the developed world.
21. The disappearance of tropical forests, with the attendant irremediable loss of biological diversity, and Desertification were other pressing problems. Governments had a duty to ensure that development went hand in hand with the preservation of the environment. Kenya had taken steps to protect its arable land from soil erosion and to reclaim marginal land. While those activities continued to enjoy government support at all levels, there was a need to mobilize external resources for continued assistance to African countries, particularly those bordering the Sahara Desert. Kenya also participated in efforts to protect the regional marine environment. It was the depository of the Convention and protocols concluded under the Eastern African regional seas programme and was making arrangements to ratify them.
22. In conclusion, President Moi said that international commitment was essential to solve environmental problems. At the same time action was ultimately crucial at the national action: efforts to
protect the environment would be successful, in the long run, if all people, particularly industrialists and farmers, were willing to adjust their operations and lifestyles appropriately. A whole new concept of obligation and duty had to be deployed on an international scale; global efforts must be fully mobilized to confront the possibility of total biological disaster; and priorities and attitudes must change with the times.