London, Thursday, April 19, 2018 (MFA Press) – Kenya has reaffirmed its commitment to continue championing exploitation of blue economy and harnessing of natural resources and promotion of human development.
Speaking during a Commonwealth Foreign Minister’s forum addressing itself to the topics referred to as a ‘More Sustainable Future’ and a ‘More Prosperous Future’, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary, Amb Monica Juma, said Kenya supports multilateral efforts against piracy through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and Djibouti.
She called on Commonwealth members to get involved in capacity building to increase Maritime Domain Awareness among its littoral Members to prepare them to take ownership of their maritime security.
“The cooperation in Maritime Security should not be restricted to piracy but to cover other illicit maritime activities such as Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, smuggling of oil, trafficking of drugs, arms, persons, agricultural products, toxic waste dumping and marine pollution,” said CS Juma.
To this end, Kenya volunteered to be one of the Blue Charter Champions as envisaged by the Commonwealth Heads of Government. The Ministers adopted the Commonwealth Blue Charter, setting out the principles by which Commonwealth member countries will lead international efforts by sustainably developing and protecting their ocean.
They committed to act to safeguard the ocean for future generations. Heads agreed to establish Action Groups on ocean issues led by Commonwealth member countries, which will collaborate with partners at national, regional, and international levels, in addressing identified priority ocean issues of member countries.
The Cabinet Secretary said Kenya was looking forward to hosting Blue Economy Forum in November and urged Commonwealth members to support its hosting and in attendance.
The Ministers at the same time considered and adopted the draft Commonwealth Cyber Declaration and its implementation plan. The Cyber Declaration seeks to address transnational security threats such as improving cybersecurity, preventing and countering violent extremism and addressing serious and organised crime. The Commonwealth will build capacity and share international best practice to enhance security across the world.
CS Juma urged members to increase cooperation across the Commonwealth in detection, investigation and prosecution of computer and cyber-crimes. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility requiring partnership with International Organisations, the private sector, academia, and other non-government entities to implement cybercrimes related national Strategies in the most efficient and effective way.
Kenya is ready to meet cybersecurity challenges together with partners and increase recognition of Kenya as a trusted partner and cybersecurity leader in the East African Community (EAC), Africa and the World.