Kenya: Speaker of National Assembly supports campaign for elected UN body
The Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Hon. Kenneth Marende, has joined the call for the establishment of a popularly elected body at the world level. At a press briefing in his office following a meeting with representatives of the Campaign for the Establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly (CEUNPA) on Monday, Hon. Marende stressed the need of achieving good governance at all levels, “including the United Nations and its agencies”. The Speaker expressed the support of the Kenyan parliament in the efforts to create a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). The head of the Secretariat of CEUNPA, Andreas Bummel, who was visiting Kenya these days, said at the briefing that one of the purposes of a UNPA is to “connect global decision-making more closely to the grassroots level”.
The day before meeting the Speaker of the National Assembly, local activists with the Citizens Awareness Network (Cianet) organized a tour of the CEUNPA representative through Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums located southwest of Nairobi city centre. On the occasion of this tour, Cianet officer Thomas Akendo described the Slum upgrading programme in Kibera as “an example for the disconnect of an UN-sponsored undertaking and the people on the spot who are affected by it”. “When the programme was hatched out at UN-HABITAT five years ago, nobody from Kibera was involved and there were no consultations with the people on the ground. The result is a programme which actually does not work. If there was a UN Parliamentary Assembly, we could urge our representatives to address this issue directly at the UN”, Mr Akendo said. On Tuesday the visit of the CEUNPA representative was concluded with a briefing of the Kenyan parliament’s Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations.