President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Monday, June 27, became the first Kenyan Head of state to visit Portugal on his maiden state visit to the European country.
Uhuru jetted out of the country to head to Lisbon, where he is also expected to chair the United Nations Ocean Conference alongside Portugal counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and UN Secretary General António Guterres.
According to Kenya's ambassador to Portugal Judy Wakhungu, Uhuru is the first president to be recognised by Portugal, ahead of his two-day visit.President Uhuru Kenyatta is received at the Altice Arena in central Lisbon to preside over theopening planery session of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference on Monday, June 27, 2022.PSCU
"Our two Heads of State will be presiding over the high-level opening of the ocean conference together with the UN Secretary General."
“This is very special. It is historic because this is the first time in history that a Kenyan Head of State has been recognized by our hosts, the Republic of Portugal,” she remarked.
Kenya and Portugal were selected to jointly host the conference in 2020 during the inaugural conference in New York but the event was pushed forward at the onset of the pandemic.
Usually hosted by two nations, the meeting is aimed at accelerating the adoption of science-based innovative solutions to challenges facing oceans and the global marine ecosystem.
"The conference is focusing mostly on the Sustainable Development Goal 14 which deals specifically with the oceans. Over 70 percent of the earth is the ocean; we sometimes take this for granted but it is indeed very important,” the Ambassador added.
In line with this, she ephasised the need to protect Kenya's oceans from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and expand the marine protected areas.
Wakhungu stated Kenya had prioritized blue economy as a key driver of her socioeconomic transformation agenda, adding that the conference builds on the successes of the inaugural UN Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held in Nairobi in 2018.
During the two-day state visit, President Kenyatta will lead a Kenyan delegation in bilateral talks with their Portuguese hosts during which several agreements in tourism, education and training, commerce, culture, transport and communication.
“At the same time we shall also promote trade and investment between Kenya and Portugal. Our two countries have continued to enhance and enrich their bilateral relations,” the envoy disclosed.President Uhuru Kenyatta attending the 2022 UN Ocean Conference at the Altice Arena in Lisbon on Monday, June 27, 2022.PSCUillegal
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