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Govt launches treaty database

The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union (AU), and the government of Sweden, launched a project dubbed “Accelerating the Ratification and Domestication of African Union Treaties.”

This will establish and maintain a public website of treaties and international instruments to which Kenya is a party to.

The database is a digital tool that will enhance efficiency and inclusivity in service delivery in an effort to facilitate faster and more efficient access to treaty services. Further, it provides a comprehensive repository of Kenya’s commitment to the global community.

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Korir Sing’oei addressing the stakeholders during the launch of Treaty Database at a Nairobi Hotel on Monday November 27 , 2023. Photo by Okal Kevin.

Speaking at the launch, Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Dr. Korir Sing’oei said, “One of the key pillars of effective diplomacy is the ability to uphold agreement and honour commitment.

With this database, we reinforce our dedication to fulfilling our international obligations with the utmost integrity.”

Sing’oei further added that the platform’s user-friendly design and robust functionality will empower diplomats, legal experts, stakeholders, and the diaspora to access, analyse, and contribute to the wealth of information housed within its digital walls.

In the realm of international relations, treaties serve as the foundation for cooperation, cross-nation trade, investment, and peace among nations.

“The Office of the Registrar of Treaties derives its mandates from Articles 2(5) and (6) of the constitution and the Treaty Making and Ratification Act 2012, which collectively provide that the general rules of international laws form part of the laws of Kenya,” said the PS.

The database is not only a valuable source of treaty information that will serve as a reference point for international stakeholders, including citizens, educational institutions, and all public and private sectors, but also a beacon of transparency for the global counterparts, reinforcing Kenya’s commitment to openness and collaboration.

The PS also lauded UNDP and other stakeholders for working tirelessly to bring this project to reality, saying their assistance has been invaluable.

Sing’oei urged Kenyans and the diplomatic community to embrace the opportunity that technology presents, noting that this database is not a technological achievement but a symbol of collective dedication to shaping a future where diplomacy is efficient, transparent, and accessible.

Registrar of Treaties Amb. James Waweru said that Kenya has ratified 252 treaties, signed but not ratified 11 treaties, and is a member of 84 international organisations.

To this end, the constitution requires the president to report on the progress made by Kenya in fulfilling its international obligations.

By Okal Kevin

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