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Kenya gets AU endorsement for UN Security Council seat

Wednesday August 21, 2019

Kenya has won the second round of voting at the African Union, effectively getting the UN Security Council endorsement

Kenya garnered 37 votes against Djibouti’s 13 in a vote taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A committee of envoys representing member states at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa voted in a secret ballot and Kenya will now contest at the UN polls next year in June.

In the first vote on August 5, Kenya garnered 33 out of 49 votes cast by members present.

Kenya, however, required at least 36 votes, thus necessitating a second vote.

“I congratulate Kenya for a well-deserved win and I am sure Kenya will ably represent our great continent at the UNSC,” Amb Mohammed Idris Farah of Djibouti said.

Kenya Amb. to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to AU, Ambassador Catherine Mwangi commended Djibouti for its commitment and passion to serve and pledged to take on board some of the important issues that Djibouti was keen to include in the AU Agenda at the UN Security Council.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma congratulated the African Union Permanent Representative Committee for putting their trust in Kenya.

“This endorsement is an affirmation that Kenya has remained true to the decisions and aspirations of the African Union and confirms that it is a safe and dependable pair of hands. Kenya commits to the African brothers and sisters, that we shall be a bold voice for Africa and shall steadfastly promote and defend the African position,” Juma said.

The African Union will present Kenya (Eastern) to the UNSC for elections to be held in New York in June 2020 to serve for a period of two years (2021-2022), subsequently joining Niger (Western) and Tunisia (Northern) that were elected in June 2019 to serve in 2020-2021.

Given Kenya’s Foreign Policy which is strongly afro-centric, the elections to the UNSC will give the country the opportunity to build consensus across regional and global matters that affect Africa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have led various delegations to lobby for Kenya’s support for the UN non-permanent seat for the 2021-2022 period.

The latest push was in the Caribbean and Pacific countries by President Kenyatta, soon after PS Kamau in July met representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries to lobby ahead of the 74th session of United Nations General Assembly.

Kenya has previously been a non-permanent member of the council twice in 1973-1974 and 1997-1998.

The current non-permanent African member states are Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea, whose terms end this year, and South Africa whose term runs until next year.

PS Kamau has previously said Kenya’s entry into the UN’s most powerful institution will help Nairobi focus on climate change, sustainable development and the region’s security and the war on terrorism.