My Government and the people of Kenya wish to express sincere appreciation to the entire WTO Membership for selecting Kenya to host the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi from 15th to 18th December, 2015.
The Milestone hosting of this Conference is not only an honour to the Government and the people of Kenya, but to the Eastern African Region and the entire African Continent. This is so, as it is the first time that a WTO Ministerial Conference is taking place on the African soil, although WTO was born in Africa in 1994 in Marrakech, Morocco.
The hosting of the 10th Ministerial Conference in Africa therefore, is a manifestation of the commitment by the WTO Membership and the International Community at large to integrate the African Continent into the Multilateral Trading System (MTS). The integration of Africa into the Multilateral Trading System will augment and complement Africa’s regional and continental efforts towards increased intra Africa trade that will culminate in the realization of the dream of the Continental Free Trade Area. I am therefore pleased to note that the entire globe has more than before, realized the social-economic and sustainable development potential that the continent has to offer.
This is a crucial period in time for Africa and the entire developing world. It is the year when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that we set in 2000 are expected to have been met. Yet various reports show that no African country is on course to meet all the MDGs within the stipulated time period. It is also the year when Africa is honoured to host yet another crucial Conference, the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The hosting of these international Conferences in Africa will be more memorable and meaningful if their outcomes deliver on the development aspirations of developing countries.
We are confident that the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference as well the conference on financing for development, will provide an opportunity for Members and relevant stakeholders to exchange views on how to optimally exploit diverse global resources for the welfare of mankind in a predictable rule based environment. The positive outcome from this Conference will boost trade and investment, create employment and ultimately contribute to poverty eradication.
To my fellow Kenyans, this is yet another opportunity to demonstrate our usual hospitality as we prepare to receive our guests from all corners of the world.
In conclusion, the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference should provide an opportunity for Members to restore confidence to the Multilateral Trading System by reaching an agreement on a Work Programme that can take Members on a roadmap to quickly conclude the Doha Round Negotiations and deliver to Members the originally envisaged development aspirations.
I am looking forward to receiving you all in Nairobi for this historic and crucial Conference.