CAS Ababu Opens Treaties Workshop for MPs

-25 Nov 2019, Mombasa

Foreign Affairs CAS Hon. Ababu-Terrah Namwamba, EGH today officially opened a Sensitisation Workshop for Senators and Member of the National Assembly themed “Accelerating the Ratification and Domestication of African Union Treaties” at Pride Inn, Mombasa.

The sensitisation for legislators hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the State Law Office and UNDP also aims to accelerate accesssion by Kenya to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Hon. Ababu disclosed that Kenya has already ratified, domesticated and is implementing five AU treaties, namely the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the African Youth Charter, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the AU Convention on Prevention and Combatting Corruption. He added that ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance is at Cabinet level awaiting approval and would soon be submitted to the National Assembly.

CAS Ababu lauded the AU-UNDP project on Accelarating the Ratification and Domestication of African Treaties, as it bolsters government efforts to initiate national dialogue with relevant domestic stakeholders, including political leaders, parliamentarians and civil society to sensitise them to the significance of OAU/AU treaties and the importance of ratifying them in advancing the policy goals adopted collectively under the African Union.

To address some of the challenges that affect the ratification process in Kenya, CAS Ababu noted that Parliament enacted the Treaty Making and Ratification Act in 2012 that established the Office of the Registrar of Treaties mandated to manage the ratification process and monitor implementation of treaties in the country.

CAS Ababu lauded Kenya’s Afrocentric foreign policy that has seen Kenya place everything African at the core of foreign relations. Hon Ababu, who himself served as a Member of Parliament for two terms and Chaired such key Parliamentary Committees as Justice & Legal Affairs and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Review, reminded the MPs of the constitutional significance of treaty ratification. Ababu, a Nairobi and American-trained attorney in Constitutional and International Law, called particular attention to Article 2(6) of the Constitution which provides that “any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya under this Constitution”.

The main objective of the workshop is to sensitize select core committes of the National Assembly and Senate on treaty making procedures and to optimise the quality of expertise for development of a manual on treaty procedure and user guide for implementation of AU treaties.

The workshop brings together Members of Parliament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, academicians, legal practioners and representatives of AU, UNDP, RECS and CSOs. Among those in attendance are the Chairman of the Justice & Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Hon William Cheptumo, Chairman of the National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations Hon Katoo ole Metito, EGH, Appeal Court Judge and Director of the Judiciary Training Institute Mr. Kathurima M’Inoti and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Mandisa Mashologu.

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