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Kenya to seek UN Security Council slot in 2019

Kenya to seek UN Security Council slot in 2019

 Kenya will be seeking a slot in the United Nations Security Council at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly to be held in September 2019.

According to the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Monica Juma, the country is positioning itself for a two-year non-permanent membership of the council in a bid to contribute in setting the agenda for global peace and stability.

“We shall be seeking for a seat in the United Nations Security Council for the period of 2021-2022,” she said.

“Kenya’s candidature to the United Nations Security Council is informed by the critical role that we continue to play in maintaining global peace and stability,” Ambassador Juma said during her inaugural press briefing on Kenya’s foreign policy on Thursday.

She told reporters at the event that Kenya’s accolade in global peace efforts will go a long way in furthering the United Nation’s agenda for universal peace.

“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,” noted the CS.

“We think this experience stands as well in terms of contributing to the search for global peace within the framework of the UN Security Council,” she added.

The United Nations Security Council has five permanent members and ten non-permanent membership slots; Ethiopia holding one of the non-permanent positions at the moment.

Côte d’Ivoire’s non-permanent membership commences in 2019.

China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the five permanent members with veto powers.

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

Other than drumming up support for the mobilization of resources needed to restore calm in African countries facing terrorism and political instability such as Somalia and South Sudan, Ambassador Juma announced during her briefing on Thursday that Kenya’s foreign policy will also aim at strengthening existing economic ties and establishing new ones.

On the economic front, she specifically singled out Ethiopia as one of Kenya’s vital economic partner saying the government was hopeful that the current political transition will be midwifed in a timely manner.

She said her ministry had reliably been informed that the ruling party was working on getting Hailemariam Desalegn’s successor after the former premier tendered his resignation in February.

“As a country of great significance to us we’ve been working very closely with Ethiopia and the information we’re getting is that, thankfully, the transition is being managed internally,” the CS reported.

Ambassador Juma said Kenya is keen to see Ethiopia recover from the current political uncertainty as the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front works on selecting a new leader.

“The lesson we’re learning from Ethiopia is that your political developments must be organic – it must be driven by yourselves,” she said adding that foreign interference often complicates already volatile situations.

“It is important that the political transition is managed well because it has implications for us. So far we’ve seen nothing to worry us,” Ambassador Juma added.

The Thursday briefing was also attended by the ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Principal Secretary (Foreign Affairs) Ambassador Macharia Kamau, as well as Political and Diplomatic Secretary Ambassador Tom Amolo. 

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