Yesterday, United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and UNDP Resident Representative to Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee met with Tory peer Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and UK Deputy High Commissioner Susie Kitchens during the Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi.
Following the meeting, Mr Chatterjee said he was looking forward to strengthening the partnership with the UK to prevent sexual and gender based violence as well as working with both governments to prevent violent extremism.
The issue of violent extremism was revisited when the Tory peer was accompanied by High Commissioner Nic Hailey for a meeting with Ambassador Dr. Martin Kimani, Director of the Kenyan National Counter Terrorism Centre.
Commenting after their meeting, Dr. Kimani thanked the UK High Commissioner and Lord Ahmad for the “fine discussion”. He said that Kenya was dedicated to defeating organised extremism and added that he was “glad to hear more about robust UK work fighting for freedom of religion and respect for diversity.”
“Increasingly I am finding discussions of what we are fighting FOR becoming a greater focus than what we are AGAINST. In this case, engaged and ‘inclusive citizenship’ in Lord Ahmad’s words,” he continued.
Mr Kimani went on to say that what was needed was freedom of religion within and between faiths which revitalized citizenship without an exclusive focus on “communities” or “tribes”.
“We also need civil society and religious leadership in fighting extremism, not just violent extremism. There are ideas and ideologies toxic to democracy, freedom and protection of minorities (including the ‘Minority of One’),” he added.
Mr Hailey also joined Lord Ahmad for a discussion on Commonwealth and regional issues with Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and later with President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, David Maraga.
The meeting with Mr Maraga reaffirmed the importance of a strong independent judiciary in tackling corruption and ensuring fairness for all in Kenya.