Shared Values, Governance, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
The formation of the African Union led to a paradigm shift, that is embodied in its base documents in particular the Constitutive Act. Emerging after the entire African continent had experienced the throes of colonialism, a shift has occurred from focus on emancipation of countries from foreign domination and a zealous protection of the Sovereignty of Member States to principles that privilege democratic governance, promotion of human rights, non-indifference, peoples’ and citizens participation, gender equality, development, and cultural renaissance.
In the light of this shift Africa doubled efforts towards the creation of institutions that would promote an accelerated development of the continent, and redefine relationships between the continent and other partners. These relationships were elaborated in the founding document of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
A range of instruments were also developed to chaperone the wave of democratization in the continent – based on the Declaration on Good Governance adopted in Durban in 2002. By the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union summit, in January 2011, member states underscored the imperative to establish a Pan African Governance Architecture, that will enjoin African Union Organs, Institutions and RECS in strengthening democratic governance, people participation in their lives and provide a firm basis for enhanced, harmonized and complementary actions.
The new Architecture seeks to identify common values, obstacles and measures that would facilitate continental integration based on shared values in line with the constitutive Act of the African Union. These include: adherence to the rule of law, democracy and representation of the popular will, social care for the weakest, self reliance, justice, law and order, equity and equality, self determination, solidarity of states, stability of environment and security.
Kenya supports the principles espoused in the shared values within the Pan African Governance Architecture, which are in line with the Government aspirations as expressed in the development blue print, Vision 2030 as well as the basic law of the land, the 2010 Constitution. Promulgated after a long process of consultations and discussions among various Kenyan stakeholders, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya ushered in a dispensation founded on a new value system that promotes good governance, provides for the centrality of people participation in their governance, and that sets forth the guiding principles of leadership and integrity to ensure responsive leadership and public service.
At the individual level, the new Constitution establishes an elaborate and progressive Bill of Rights to promote and protect human rights; places considerable emphasis on public participation through representation in all political platforms, namely the national assembly, the senate and country assemblies. In an effort to ensure effective participation, the Constitution provides for devolution of political power through a 3 tier government, as well as separation of powers between the three arms of government and a robust systems of checks and balances at all levels of government.
The Constitution further recognizes the right of every Kenyan to participate in the electoral process and ensures fair representation and provides for gender equity.
The Role of the Mission
The role of the Mission in pursuit of promotion of shared values includes:
- Strengthening the coordination, reporting and monitoring systems between government departments on one hand and development partners on the other;
- Support of implementation of activities and related initiatives
- Ensure information flow on experiences and progress in Kenya as they relate democracy, good governance and shared values within the Pan African Governance Architecture
- Support the ratification and domestication of all instruments that seek to actualize norms and shared values espoused within the Pan African Architecture on governance;
- Engage in activities that seek to enhance negotiations for international cooperation that supports the realization of the goals envisaged in the Pan African Architecture on governance;
- Building on existing political good will and greater demonstration of the importance of the impact the attainment of these goals has on the country’s development;
The Shared Values,Governance, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs team at the mission is led by Mr. Joseph Vungo, and comprises of Ms Mercy A. Odongo.