Foreign Office holds talks with security analysts to frame Kenya’s UNSC agenda  

March 30, 2019 10:42 am
According to the Foreign Office, the meeting attended by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau framed the agenda for Nairobi’s candidature ahead of an anticipated campaign launch in June/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – A cross section of security analysts on Friday held a deliberative session on Kenya’s candidature for the 2021-2022 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat, top on the agenda being the country’s role in international peace and stability.

According to the Foreign Office, the meeting attended by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau framed the agenda for Nairobi’s candidature ahead of an anticipated campaign launch in June.

The bid has so far been endorsed by East African Community member States’ foreign ministers on November 16 last year and subsequently, the regional body’s summit.

Others nations that have pledged to support Kenya in its bid are Sweden and Namibia, the Scandinavian nation promising to work closely and share experience it accumulated from a successful bid for  United Nations Security Council non-permanent seat for the 2017-2018 term.

“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,” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallströmy said during a visit to Nairobi last month.

“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.

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 noted.

The UNSC 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.

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