State promises to implement Alston report

Published on 06/06/2009

By Beauttah Omanga

The Geneva talks ended with Kenya promising to respect human rights and implement some of Prof Philip Alston’s recommendations.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, who was the last Kenyan official to address the International Conference, said the Coalition Government was committed to reforms that would guarantee freedom for all.

“We are currently in the process of developing a comprehensive human rights policy and action plan to provide a roadmap to address the human rights challenges facing the country,” said Mutula. The minister said the council will now enter a verdict on Kenya in the absence of the Government’s representatives as regards the Alston report’s findings and recommendations.

Government position

“Prof Alston made his report which he presented and we also defended ourselves and positions on it as Government. We will have to wait and see what the Commission on Human rights finally says on our case,” he said.

The policy, read Mutula’s statement, is aimed at informing the actions of Government ministries, departments and other actors in the integration of human rights into the national planning process.

He said it would also act as a reaffirmation of the Government’s commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Mutula told the conference ethnicity still posed a challenge to many developing countries, including Kenya, where there is a weak sense of national values and politics is mainly driven by tribal parties and coalitions.

“Kenya’s future as a nation depends on a twin challenge that includes the need to recognise and celebrate diversity and need to build a strong and cohesive national character,” he said.

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