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Statement by H.E. Kofi Annan on conclusion of his visit to Kenya, 21 October, 2011
1. Over the last two days, I have had the opportunity to meet with members of the Government and other key stakeholders, to discuss the continued progress being made to implement the broad reform agenda, which was initiated after the signing of the National Accord.
2. The implementation of the Constitution, promulgated on 27 August, 2010, remains ongoing, and there have already been significant achievements.
3. The transformation of the judiciary is underway.
4. Key legislation to reform the police has also been prioritised, aiming to create an independent police service, a National Police Service Commission and an Independent Police Oversight Authority.
5. These positive steps bring with them the peoples’ expectation of visible improvements in service delivery, however, effective institutional reform will take time and require sustained political will.
6. It is important to note that many significant constitutional reforms lie ahead, key among these being the implementation of devolved government.
7. The transition from central government to one national and 47 county governments requires a massive reshaping of policy, institutions, but perhaps most importantly, a mind shift across the board. It is a process that requires active and meaningful public participation across the country, to ensure that it is truly owned by the people.
8. In this connection, I wish to recall the importance of a countrywide civic education programme. Such a programme must receive the necessary political and financial support from the government, and should be done in full cooperation with the private sector, civil society and the religious community. I also encourage the international community to contribute to these efforts.
9. As the implementation process continues into its second year, I would wish all stakeholders to remain mindful of section 1(1) of the Constitution: that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya, and encourage them to ensure that principle remains paramount as the country moves forward.
10. The constitutional provision of gender representation in elective and appointive bodies is an important one and must be implemented fully and effectively.
11. I have taken note of the ongoing debate concerning the date of the next General Election. It is important that the matter be settled quickly and in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution to remove uncertainty. Similarly, constituting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) remains critical.
12. The discussion on elections must, however, begin to shift to focus on preparedness. Kenya must ensure that in all aspects: technically, legally, politically and institutionally, it is ready to carry out free, fair and credible elections.
13. On the issue of national healing and reconciliation, I am concerned that, more than three years after the post-election violence, we have not made as much progress as the people expected. The continued presence of IDPs in our midst constitutes an open wound which leaders have not healed.
14. The work being undertaken both by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) in this regard, and their efforts to reinforce each others’ work is positive.
15. I am also encouraged that there are new initiatives, supported by other actors, including the private sector, to foster a sense of national identity and to promote cohesion and reconciliation.
16. Finally, I wish to underline the challenge that Kenya faces on its northeastern border, which has led to the recent deployment of Kenyan troops. It is important to underscore that this conflict should not be the concern of Kenya, nor the region, alone. The situation is the responsibility of the broader international community and I appeal to them to increase their support for regional efforts to stabilize Somalia and help re-build its institutions of governance.