In line with Kenya’s foreign policy the Geneva Mission seeks to promote and protect the interests of Kenya in the multilateral setting in Geneva. To this end in partnership with Member States of the United Nations and other International Organisations the Permanent Mission works towards the achievement of a just and equitable economic and social order. Its aim is to enhance the socio-economic development of Kenya and the quality of life for the Kenyan people.
The Kenya Mission to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Switzerland was established in 1985 to represent Kenya’s national interests in the entire multilateral system in Geneva. There are over 27 specialized agencies in Geneva dealing with important areas such as Disarmament, Human Rights, Refugees, Migration, Labour, Humanitarian, Economic and Trade, Intellectual Property Rights, Health and Telecommunications.
Among the core interests include:
Promotion and Protection of Kenya’s interests,
Promotion of peace,
Projecting Kenya’s image in all international fora,
Promoting trade, economic relations and tourism.
The Kenya Mission to the United Nations in Geneva coordinates Kenya’s overall representation in all meetings, governing bodies and conferences that are held in the international organisations in Geneva.
Human Rights Council
Among the key United Nations Bodies that Kenya is an active member of is the Human Rights Council. Kenya is party to a large number of International human rights instruments including treaties on economic, social and cultural rights, civil and political rights, and children’s rights, amongst others. This carries with it international responsibilities to ensure that obligations to which states subscribe are adhered to, and the provisions of the instruments are implemented. In this regard Kenya continues to play an active role in the Human Rights Council and was a member of its predecessor body, the Commission on Human Rights.
Kenya has consistently submitted regular reports on the implementation of all instruments and treaties that she is a party to.
Kenya is a member of the 65 Nation Conference on Disarmament and plays an active role in the deliberations of this body which is the sole negotiation organ of all international treaties on disarmament and non-proliferation. As a non nuclear weapon state, Kenya supports all efforts that would advance the process of disarmament. Kenya considers the issue of security as vital for national development and recognizes the clear linkages between development and security. Having been a victim of terrorists’ acts, Kenya is convinced that the world should be a more secure place without the threat of nuclear weapons. In this regard Kenya is also an active member of the Group of 21 countries (non-nuclear states) within the Conference on Disarmament that advocates for total disarmament.
In 2006 Kenya was amongst the 42 States that adopted the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, and is an important player in advocating the goals of the Declaration. Kenya hosted the African Regional Conference on Armed Violence and Development in October, 2007.
Kenya was also among the six original co-authors of the Resolution on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that was adopted at the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly and is represented in the Group of Governmental Experts on the scope, draft parameters and feasibility of an arms trade treaty.
Kenya is also a signatory to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personal Mines and Their Destruction. Kenya hosted the first Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in which the Nairobi Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted, which continues to guide the States parties to the Convention.
Kenya was among the 120 states that met in Wellington, New Zealand, in February 2008 to deliberate on efforts aimed at achieving a ban on Cluster Munitions, a process which was launched in 2007 in Oslo, Norway. A Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions will take place in Dublin, Ireland for the conclusion of a legally binding international instrument prohibiting cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.
World Intellectual Property Organisation
The World Intellectual Property Organisation is the UN specialised agency promoting the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. WIPO has two main branches:
industrial property (patents and other rights in technological inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, appellations of origin), and
WIPO promotes the worldwide protection of such intellectual property throughout cooperation among states and key administering treaties covering certain intellectual property areas.
WIPO administers over 23 treaties including the Bern Treaty and Paris Treaties which Kenya is a party to.
Kenya is actively involved in the discussions on establishing a development agenda in WIPO and considers this as an important issue in ensuring that developing countries reap the benefits of an IP regime. Kenya considers the debate on international policy and development of legal mechanisms in the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions against misappropriation and misuse and the intellectual property (IP) aspects of access to overall benefits sharing in genetic resources as an important issue and we look forward to concrete agreements in this area.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya
to the United Nations Office in Geneva
1-3,Avenue de la Paix (1st Floor)
Telex: 412 656 kmgv ch