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Africa Group endorses Kenya’s candidature for UN Security Council seat

In the first round of voting held on August 5, Kenya garnered 33 votes out of 49 ballots cast, falling short of a two-third threshold/FILE – United Nations Media Liaison

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Kenya’s candidature for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat for the 2021-2022 term has been endorsed by the Africa Group after garnering 37 votes against Djibouti’s 13 during a session by the 54-member regional group in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Kenya won the endorsement after a second round of voting by the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

The Africa Group comprises all the 54 African Union member States which make up 28 per cent of UN membership.

In the first round of voting held on August 5, Kenya garnered 33 votes out of 49 ballots cast, falling short of a two-third threshold.

Following PRC’s endorsement, Kenya will be presented as the continent’s sole candidate at polls to be held in New York next June.

Kenya will need the support of two-thirds of UN member States (129 votes) to win a seat at the UNSC which 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.

Niger and Tunisia currently represent western and northern Africa respectively having been elected in June 2019 to serve in the UNSC for the 2020-2021 term.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma welcomed Wednesday vote saying Kenya will continue to lobby for regional and global matters affecting Africa.

“I wish to thank the AU PRC members for this determination. 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,” CS Juma remarked.

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“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,” she added.

Djibouti’s representative at the PRC, Amb Mohammed Idris Farah, congratulated Kenya saying, “I am sure Kenya will ably represent our great continent at the UNSC”.

Kenya has previously served two terms as a UNSC non-permanent member in 1973/74 and 1997/98.

CS Juma had Thursday last week told the press she was confident Kenya’s bid for UNSC will sail through saying plans were afoot to mobilize the three additional vote the country required to win the backing of the Africa Group.

She said Kenya’s candidature for the UN Security Council seat was anchored on the vital role the country plays on international peace efforts and regional stability, particularly efforts to restore order in troubled Somalia.

“You will know that since independence, our country has contributed immensely to peace and security. In fact, one of our main foreign policy pillars is search for peaceful settlement of disputes in the continent,  we have continued to anchor the search for peace and therefore it is time that we sat on the same table with decision makers on the issues of peace and security,” Juma said.

Kenya’s bid picked up momentum in November last year after East African Community (EAC) Member States – Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Rwanda – declared their support for her candidature.

In February 2019, Kenya won another three-year term in the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), after garnering 37 votes.

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