Kenya – Position Paper submitted for the African Union

Position Paper submitted for the African Union

I Responding to Famine in Somalia

Although the condition of Somalia has been reduced from famine to that of a pre-famine state Somalia’s condition remains critical. Due to the continuing severe conditions, refugee camps in Kenya have met their maximum capacity, forcing camps to strengthen their infrastructure where refugees remain in overcrowded refugee camps. Deeply concerned by malnutrition rates and the spread of disease due to overcrowded refugee camps, Kenya calls upon humanitarian agencies and the international community to share the enormous burden presented to Kenya by the vast number of refugees. Kenya supports the goals of The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to form a framework on “national refugee policy, revised refugee legislation and statelessness legislation, national IDP policy and legislation consistent with international and/or regional standards.” This framework will aim to improve efficiency providing humanitarian aid to refugees in addition to creating an effective system of logging data to prevent the negative aspects of statelessness.  Kenya recognizes that the issues that plague Somalia cannot be resolved in one conference, but will require a continued commitment from the international community until it can continue independently. Taking note issues of food security poses a major complication toward the wellbeing of the Somali people.  Kenya endorses the Ministry of Agriculture’s quality objectives under the International Organization of Standards (ISO) aimed at protect crops from pests and diseases. Continued annual monitoring by the ISO to continue improving the quality management system will insure crop sustainability. The goals and efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture will enhance food security, relieve finical burdens, and promote employment creation. Furthermore, Kenya endorses efforts of USAID, with The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) which includes international, regional and national partners who share data concerning changing food security conditions. FEWSNET will use data concerning water and food security to develop a plan of action for humanitarian aid.  Continuing security issues threaten the Somali people, as well as humanitarian agencies providing communities with much needed aid. Kenya calls for additional support toward the development Somalia’s own security forces to build stability at the local level, and step up action to combat threats posed from piracy and terrorism.  Kenya applauds the efforts of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to uphold the peace and security of Somalia; however, Kenya recognizes the need for the term of the Transformational Federal Government (TFG) to come to an end in as mandated to expire in August 2012. With the transition toward sovereignty Somalia requires increased involvement from the international community to introduce a new momentum into Somalia’s political process. Kenya understands the connection between poor or limited use of new agro-technologies and limited or diminished levels of food production within states is a factor impacting food price volatility. Therefore, Kenya is committed to developing sound and sustainable agricultural practices through the use of engineering technology supported by infrastructure development. We call on developed nations to assist LDCs in developing their agricultural sectors through the application of new technologies in order to combat increasing food prices and meet local and international demands. Kenya is investing in various ways to increase food production in order to meet growing demands and all of them are pursued in accordance with our 2010 National Agriculture Policy.

II. Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development

Kenya emphasizes adherence to Chapter VII of the United Nations’ Charter, which calls for action against breach of the peace, or act of aggression. Peace and security should be maintained for the citizens of an affected state which highlights the need for an active role of A Transitional Federal Government (TFG) during Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD). The role of a PCRD framework must be aimed at easing a government’s transition in post conflict situations by protecting citizens and insuring their basic human rights. To further support the framework of PCRD, Kenya calls for member states to increase involvement, to create a secure and a safe environment for the affected state and its population. Kenya recognizes that democracy is necessary for a fair representation of all members within the affected state during the PCRD for a peaceful transition. Recognizing the need to enhance the effectiveness of measures for the protection of women and children during PCRD, Kenya endorses Resolution 1325 (2000), which is designed to include an active role of women within the governing system.Kenya applauds the progress of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), because of the body’s fundamental goals of peace, security and development. These values are cornerstones to a successful government transition, and are necessary for development. Kenya encourages objectives of the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) to focus on the development agenda of African states. The policies of NEPAD are aimed at promoting globalization and poverty reduction, which both are essential components for a state’s transference from lawlessness to sovereignty. Kenya fully supports urgent objectives of NEPAD, those which focus on infrastructure, industrialization, diversification, and human capital development. These components are essential for African states and their progression toward industrialized and development. These policies aim to level the playing field for African states and foreign trade policy. Kenya encourages the forging of partnerships within the international community. Moreover, Kenya endorses the approach of NEPAD Framework of Governance, Peace and Security Programme of June 2005, creating The African Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy Framework. This policy focuses on specific needs of states during the various stages of the transitional period of government in post conflict situations. Using this framework, a solution can be tailored to meet the specific needs of affected states. Kenya reaffirms its commitment to the democratic principles of Constitutive Act of the African Union. Rule of law and good governance are derived from these principles and they must be supported by strong instructions and legal frameworks to support human rights. Moreover, Kenya is also a signatory to the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and welcomes its objective to encourage member states to assess the rule of law to respecting human rights and promoting democratic governance.

III. Addressing the Use of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Sexual violence is particularly intrusive on human rights and disruptive toward a state’s development. “As a community of States, we must rigorously implement the United Nations zero tolerance policy against sexual abuse and exploitation.” Peace, justice and security are key elements to consider when creating a framework to combat sexual violence. These elements are the primary focus while Kenya currently reconstructs its policy frameworks within its constitution aimed at strengthening laws against sexual gender-based violence. Realizing that the issue of sexual violence in armed conflict is a global problem, it calls for global solutions. Noting that both men and women suffer from human rights violations, women and girls tend to be specifically targeted for sexual violence. Moreover, to sexual violence in armed conflict resolutions should be geared especially to protect women and girls. Kenya recognizes that it is the state’s responsibility to protect its citizens. Kenya endorses Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) as it recognizes women and children as members of the population, and reaffirms the international commitment to condemning sexual violence during armed conflict. Kenya endorses the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (COVAW). The COVAW seeks justice for women who have been violated sexually or physically. Kenya supports the COVAW system of analysis as a logical method oferadicating Violence Against Women (VAW).This system reports and tracks women’s experiences with the criminal justice system to oversee compliance with national laws.  Kenya recognizes the need for women’s protection advisers to play an important role in protecting women and girls from sexual violence. These advisers should remain active in monitoring, analyzingand reporting systems of sexual violence, and mediating dialogue between parties during conflict. Kenya is fully aware that the use of advisers is not appropriate in all situations; therefore, the use of advisers must be considered on a case-by-case basis to prevent undue suffering to women and children. Kenya has made a commitment to eradicate sexual violence. To ensure the rights of women, and other disadvantaged members of the society, Kenya upholds international conventions aimed at promoting equality. Kenya reaffirms its stance against sexual gender based offences in conflict at the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) 4th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government and Special Session on the Sexual Gender Based Violence in the Great Lakes Region. Kenya affirms (A/49/587) “calling for an increase in the participation of women at decision making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes.” Through this initiative the Kenya seeks to increase the capacity of African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces, and reform countries security and judicial sectors. Thus decreasing human rights violations and increasing rule of law. Kenya argues that sexual violence in any form is intolerable. Therefore, the African Union must work promptly and effectively in eliminating sexual violence and bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice. Due to societal stigmas associated with sexual violence, many victims do not report abuses; also many countries have legislation that prevents prosecutions for crimes committed during armed conflict. In order tostamp-out sexual violence the Kenya proposes the following recommendations:  1)  Continued implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, which defends the rights of women and calls for the end of sexualviolence and states that violate this resolution could face sanctions and armed intervention. 2)  Legitimize the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring forth perpetrators of these crimes to face trial. 3)  Calls for governments of member nations to take action against sexual violations and make them fully aware that these crimes arecompletely intolerable in any situation. 4)  Create a sense of transparency and openness to the problem between countries, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations(NGO’s). 5) Monitor local authorities through regional bodies such as the AU and their actions/responses to victims and perpetrators of sexualviolence and promote the effective use of functioning bodies within ECOSOC. 6)  Increase women’s participation in the United Nations, particularly within the leadership.

%d bloggers like this: