Kenya reaches out to Sweden for UN Security Council bid

February 27, 2019 3:39 pm
“It is our hope that Sweden will help us to campaign in regard to the UNSC membership for the 2021-22 term and we’ve no doubt that our aspirations to contribute to international peace and security stands strong,” she said/MOSES MUOKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Kenya has reached out to Sweden for support in its bid to secure a non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2021-2022 term at polls set for September this year.

Speaking during a joint media briefing with her Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma told Capital FM News she was upbeat that Sweden will support Kenya’s campaign set to be launched in June.

“We’ve always worked and seen the global challenges of peace and security from the same side with Sweden. It is our hope that Sweden will help us to campaign in regard to the UNSC membership for the 2021-22 term and we’ve no doubt that our aspirations to contribute to international peace and security stands strong,” she said.

Wallström promised to work closely with Kenya and share lessons learnt from Sweden’s successful bid for the UNSC non-permanent membership in the 2017-2018 term.

She said Sweden was grateful for the support African countries accorded it when it sought UNSC membership.

“We’ll not forget the support we got from African countries when we were running. We’ll be very happy to share our experiences with Kenya because we learnt a lot,” Wallström said.

“We’ll come back to exactly how voting will take place because I think it is too early to disclose at this stage,” she added while responding to a question by Capital FM News on whether Sweden will back Kenya.

She said Sweden was determined to push for reforms towards a more representative and just UN Security Council in a bid to promote inclusion.

Representation of Africa in the UNSC, she said, was part of reforms Sweden was keen on pledging to work in unison with Kenya to achieve the same.

“It is important to have Africa represented in the UNSC. We’re hoping and working for a Security Council that one day will be more representative and more effective but also more just,” Wallström said.

The Council comprises China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States sitting as permanent members with 10 fixed-term membership slots shared among African and Asian countries.

The fixed-term membership slots are currently held by Belgium (2020), Côte d’Ivoire (2019), Dominican Republic (2020), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Germany (2020), Indonesia (2020), Kuwait (2019), Peru (2019), Poland (2019) and South Africa (2020).

Kenya announced its intent to contest for a UNSC seat on March 8 last year, the foreign ministry saying the bid will be anchored on the “critical role that we continue to play in maintaining global peace and stability.”

“As a country, we have contributed more than 44 peace-keeping operations across the world and we’ve always come out with high commendations whenever we’ve been there,” Juma said during an inaugural policy briefing at the time.

The bid, if successful, will be the third time Kenya will serve in the UNSC having previously served two terms in 1973/74 and 1997/98.

Kenya has also served in the African Union Peace and Security Council a seat it retained after being re-elected during the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 8.

Kenya beat Ethiopia and Sudan to secure the seat after garnering thirty-seven votes.

The UNSC bid has so far been endorsed by East African Community States and Namibia.

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