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Partners unite to strengthen Kenya's prosecution services through PLEAD 

Naivasha, 26 August 2019 - International and national experts in prosecution, legal innovation and research are in Kenya this week to share their experiences and best practices at a Strategic Planning Conference for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

Focused on developing a new Strategic Plan for Kenya's national prosecuting authority, the conference is supported by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD).

Speaking today at the opening, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Noordin Haji, said that ODPP must do things differently to succeed in delivering its mandate in a progressively complex criminal justice environment.

"As we formulate the new ODPP Strategic Plan, our main objective is to inject accountability, transparency, public confidence and quality control in all our operations with the overall aim of transforming ODPP into a service which is more responsive to Mwananchi needs. To this end, I am focusing on a three-pronged approach involving recasting, retooling and relearning," Mr Haji said.

"I encourage the ODPP staff in attendance to be inspired by the experiences of our guest speakers and lessons learned from implementing bold ideas and leveraging innovations in policy, procedure and technology in order to combat crimes more effectively and, ultimately, to promote the rule of law in Kenya," he said.

In his remarks the Charge d' Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to Kenya, Mr Hubert Perr, said: "Organised crime syndicates are expanding worldwide. These illicit activities take root in countries where the criminal justice sector lacks efficiency. In the face of mounting international challenges like terrorism and transnational crime, it is imperative for countries to develop, adopt and implement effective strategies and programmes for crime prevention and criminal justice. The EU and partners address these and other critical judicial matters such as legal aid, fair access to justice or the fight against corruption through the PLEAD programme."

PLEAD is a KES 4.2 billion (EUR 34.15 million) partnership funded by the European Union that is improving the delivery of justice services and use of alternatives to imprisonment in Kenya.

Through PLEAD, UNODC is providing technical assistance to five criminal justice institutions to strengthen the administration of justice - the National Council on the Administration of Justice, the Judiciary, Probation and Aftercare Service, Witness Protection Agency and the ODPP.

"The ODPP has grown, decentralized and continues to take great strides towards strengthening prosecutorial services," the UNODC Deputy Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, Ms Sylvie Bertrand, told the 120 delegates.

"UNODC welcomes ODPP's intensified focus on stamping out corruption because the delivery of justice will remain a high-profile issue in this country for as long as corruption continues to capture public sentiment. There is plenty of momentum for change and improved service delivery and UNODC is privileged to be walking beside you on this journey," Ms Bertrand said.

PLEAD runs until 2022 and is the European Union's largest justice sector investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

See also opening remarks by UNODC Deputy Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, Ms Sylvie Bertrand.