The Kenyan Government has issued a statement distancing itself from a list made by the United States which listed it as one of the 60 signatories to the Declaration for the future of internet terming it as erroneous.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said that Kenya had not gone through its processes and laws to approve the endorsement that looks to protect an open, safe internet.
“While we are listed as a signatory to the declaration, we wish to state that, as a country, we have not gone through our processes and laws for endorsing this declaration. As per our laws, Kenya can only be a signatory to any international instrument after Cabinet approval, and ratification by the National Assembly,” he said.
Declaration for the future of the internet. pic.twitter.com/wyXj227Hfc
— Spokesperson GoK (@SpokespersonGoK) April 29, 2022
According to the White House, Kenya had joined the effort in promoting an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet for the world.
“The said declaration is going through the review and based on the outcome of the process, Kenya will be able to state her position on the matter,” Oguna said.
Other nations listed include Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, the European Commission, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Palau, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
Labeled the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI), the White House said the aim is to reclaim “the immense promise” of the internet, pushing back against “rising digital authoritarianism” to ensure it reinforces democracy, protects the privacy, and promotes a free global economy.
According to the Statement by the White House, the Declaration represents a political commitment among Declaration partners to advance a positive vision for the Internet and digital technologies. “It reclaims the promise of the Internet in the face of the global opportunities and challenges presented by the 21st century. It also reaffirms and recommits its partners to a single global Internet – one that is truly open and fosters competition, privacy, and respect for human rights.”
The Declaration’s principles include commitments to:
• Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people;
• Promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information;
• Advance inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy;
• Promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy; and
• Protect and strengthen the multistakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.
Countries that have signed the Declaration will partner with the United States to promote this vision and its principles globally while respecting each other’s regulatory autonomy within their own jurisdictions and in accordance with their respective domestic laws and international legal obligations.