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Ruto delivers gripping speech on broken promises, global mistrust & debt distress

Ruto delivers thought-provoking speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York

President William Ruto speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York, USA.

President William Ruto of Kenya delivered a thought-provoking speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, emphasizing the urgent need for international collaboration to tackle pressing global challenges.

In his address on Thursday, September 22, he touched upon several critical issues facing the world today.

President Ruto acknowledged the pervasive anxiety gripping millions worldwide.

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He said that people everywhere are deeply concerned about their present and future security, dignity, and well-being.

The head of state said that these anxieties stem from a combination of factors, including the failure of global peace and security systems, insufficient development, and inadequate climate action.

"We may all agree, without any fear of contradiction, that the world is headed in a most undesirable direction. It is moments like this that the affirmative spirit of multilateralism, international collective action and global solidarity is most needed and should be attainable," he said.

He emphasised the paradox of our times, where humanity faces some of its darkest moments despite having access to incredible resources and capabilities.

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The Kenyan President stressed the importance of international collective action, and global solidarity as critical responses to the current challenges.

He called upon all United Nations member states not to shy away from their responsibilities but to rise to the occasion.

He criticized the pursuit of narrow, self-serving agendas within exclusive groups, asserting that such actions undermine the United Nations system and impede global progress.

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President Ruto did not shy away from addressing the existence of exclusive geopolitical alliances, which he argued run counter to the fundamental principles of the UN system.

He emphasized that these alliances lead to alienation, mistrust, insecurity, and exclusion among nations, regions, and continents.

Mistrust on a global scale, President Ruto argued, has emerged from a history of unfulfilled promises, broken commitments, ignored resolutions, and a disregard for fundamental principles.

"If any confirmation was ever needed that the United Nations Security Council is dysfunctional, undemocratic, non-inclusive, un-representative and therefore incapable of delivering meaningful progress in our world as presently constituted, the rampant impunity of certain actors on the global scene settles the matter," he added.

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He pointed out that multilateralism has suffered as a result of this abuse of trust, negligence, and a lack of accountability.

One year ago, President Ruto called for a transformation of the UN system to ensure it reflects a consensus-driven, rule-based multilateral system that genuinely represents the diverse voices and aspirations of the global community.

He reiterated this call, stressing the need for multilateralism to champion the hopes and dreams of people from all walks of life.

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President Ruto highlighted a stark reality: the international community is falling significantly behind in achieving its targets for climate action and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He emphasized that peace and security are crucial prerequisites for achieving these goals and should not be overlooked.

President Ruto also championed his stance of how an unfair global finance system has burdened developing countries.

He said that no meaningful climate action or development can take place in conditions of financial distress.

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According to IMF data as of last month, 10 low-income countries were in debt distress, and 52 are at high and moderate risk of falling into distress.

President Ruto challenges the global community to develop a debt restructuring initiative that does not wait for nations to plunge over the cliff before providing relief.

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