Kenya's participation

International Bioethics Committee (IBC)

The International Bioethics Committee (IBC) is a body of 36 independent experts that follows progress in the life sciences and its applications in order to ensure respect for human dignity and freedom.

The IBC provides the only global forum for in-depth bioethical reflection by exposing the issues at stake. It does not pass judgment on one position or another. Instead, it is up to each country, particularly lawmakers, to reflect societal choices within the framework of national legislation and to decide between the different positions.

Kenya was privileged to host the 14th International Bioethics Committee (IBC) meeting in May, 2007. The Meeting was attended by the then UNESCO Director-General Mr Koïchiro Matsuura. This was the first time IBC was holding this meeting in Africa. The meeting provided an opportunity to debate two of the principles set down in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted in 2005: the principles of consent, and social responsibility and health. A whole session was dedicated to the African perspective of bioethics.

In July 2007, Kenya hosted the 2nd Ethics Teacher Education Training.

Kenya is currently a member of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC).

Name of Committee


International Bioethics Committee (IBC) 


Dr. Monique Wasunna,
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)



Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)

The IGBC is comprised of 36 Member States whose representatives meet at least once every two years to examine the advice and recommendations of the IBC. It informs the IBC of its opinions and submits these opinions along with proposals for follow-up of the IBC's work to UNESCO's Director-General for transmission to Member States, the Executive Board and the General Conference.
Kenya is the only African Country to hosts a UNESCO Regional Bioethics Documentation & Research Centre. The Centre was established in 1998 at the Egerton University.

The objectives of the Centre are to promote an integrated research in bioethics; to create a platform for networking and information sharing among the regional institutions of higher learning on bioethical issues; to create a regional database on bioethics research; and to contribute to education and capacity building through training, research and documentation in the field of bioethics.  It also has the mandate to create a regional database on bioethics research and policy, and to initiate, guide and contribute to public debate on bioethical issues.

In August 2008, Kenya hosted the International Conference on Bioethics Organized by the UNESCO Regional Centre for Documentation and Research on Bioethics at Egerton University. Organized under the theme “Bioethical Perspectives and Practices in Research, Medicine, Life Sciences and Related Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa”, the conference was an occasion to foster bioethical reflections and information sharing amongst stakeholders involved in medicine, life sciences and related technologies.

Kenya is currently a member of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC). 

Name of Committee


Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)


Mr. Boniface Wanyama,
Senior Assistant Secretary General,
Kenya National Commission for UNESCO

Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST)

The MOST Programme is a research programme that aims to produce reliable and relevant knowledge for policy makers. The programme organizes and promotes international research networks, to give attention to capacity building and to establish a clearing house of knowledge in the social science field.

In January 2007, Kenya hosted a meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) in parallel to the 7th edition of the World Social Forum. Jointly organized by Government of Kenya and the Sector of Social and Human Sciences the event entitled “From Research to Policy to Action” brought together NGOs, Ministers of Social Development and academics at the interregional level. The aim of the meeting was to highlight the essential contribution of civil society and NGOs to the research-government action nexus.

In September 2009, Ministers of social development, social science researchers and representatives from NGOs and the private sector from all over the world met during the 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST), at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The main objective of the meeting was to analyze the social impact of the global economic crisis.

The then Minister for Gender, Children Affairs and Social Development & Vice-President for Africa in the MOST Committee, Hon. Esther Murugi Mathenge chaired the Round table on International Social Policy Responses to the Global Crisis.

The meeting provided another opportunity to bridge the gaps between the worlds of research and social policy.

Kenya is currently a member of the Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST).

Name of Committee


Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST)

Hon. Naomi Shabani,
Minister for Gender and Children Affairs

Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS)

CIGEPS is composed of 18 UNESCO Members States.
The committee is mainly responsible for guiding and supervising the design and implementation of the strategy and program of UNESCO activities in the field of sport and physical activity. It also promotes international cooperation in the field of physical activity and sport particularly by helping member states to coordinate their programs and activities in this field.

Over the recent years, CIGEPS has facilitated the adoption, promotion and dissemination of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport, the International Fund for Physical Education & Sport and the international Convention against Doping in Sport.

In January 2008, Kenya was elected Vice-President of CIGEPS & co-chair of working group established to examine Socio-Economic Developments related to Sports.

On 26 August 2009, Kenya deposited with the Director-General its instrument of ratification of the International Convention against Doping in Sport. The Convention entered into force with respect to Kenya on 1 October 2009.

Coalition of African Cities against Racism and Discrimination

The regional African Coalition was launched in Nairobi, Kenya, on 20 September 2006, on the occasion of the 4th Africities Summit (18-24 September 2006). It is part of the International Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination, launched by UNESCO.

Organized by the City of Nairobi and UNESCO, over 150 participants attended the launching event, including 54 Mayors/Vice-Mayors of cities. All of them praised the efforts put towards the launching of this Coalition. They stressed the need for all cities on the continent to join it and to incorporate in their municipal policies the ten commitments of the adopted Plan of Action. All 54 cities present, without exception, joined the Coalition. Representatives of civil society groups, of networks of cities against AIDS, and of other networks decided to join in as associated members.

Four cities were designated as "lead cities": Nairobi (Kenya) for East Africa, Bamako (Mali) for West Africa, Durban for South Africa and Kigali (Rwanda) for Central Africa.
The meeting enjoyed the presence of a former President of Benin, representatives of the City of London (UK), and members of the European Coalition. The event was widely covered in National media (TV, radio, newspapers).
The programme of the African Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination addresses all forms of discrimination. In this perspective, the African Coalition has put HIV related stigma and discrimination as a priority in its agenda.

Cities and municipalities are well positioned to adopt key strategies in the development of a comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS. This is why an alliance of mayors and municipal leaders in Africa together with the United Nations Development Programme has developed the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa (AMICAALL). A national Chapter of the alliance has been launched in Kenya.