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Secretary-General hails his predecessor's mediation efforts in Kenya

4 March 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the leadership of his predecessor, Kofi Annan, in the mediation efforts to bring an end to two months of post-election violence in Kenya.

“His role has brought not only peace and stability in Kenya but also the whole region,” said Mr. Ban, adding that the United Nations will continue its engagement in the process.

The two men held talks in Geneva, and during a photo opportunity afterwards, Mr. Ban appealed to President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the rivals in last December’s disputed elections, to faithfully implement the agreement reached last week.

That ‘Acting together for Kenya’ deal contains principles for a coalition Government and was announced in Nairobi on 28 February.

The Secretary-General is on his way back to New York from Geneva, where he met this morning with High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and her deputy Kyung-Wha Kang; Margaret Chan, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO); and Sahana Pradham, Nepal’s Foreign Minister.

Yesterday, Mr. Ban addressed the seventh session of the UN Human Rights Council, calling on its members to ensure that all nations are held equally accountable for the protection of rights as the new body begins its first-ever universal review of their performance.

“No country, however powerful, should escape scrutiny of its record, commitments and actions on human rights,” Mr. Ban said, hailing the start of the Universal Periodic Review, under which all UN Member States – at the rate of 48 a year – will be reviewed to assess whether they have fulfilled their human rights obligations.

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