Come Monday evening, Kenya will assume its new position at the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member, six months after the country won the seat.
Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday released a statement saying that the country’s flag will be hoisted at the UN headquarters in New York at 8pm Kenyan time (5pm GMT), signalling the beginning a two-year term for the East African nation at the UN’s most powerful organ.
“Flag raising ceremony for new United Nations Security Council members, including Kenya, will be held today at 12pm NY time and 8 pm Kenya time,” the statement said.
In June last year, Kenya won the position after beating Djibouti, who was its closest rival for the seat, by 129 votes against 62, following months of intense lobbying and campaigns across the African continent and globally.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said the win is a demonstration of the country’s growing profile and influence in the community of nations. This win sees the country return to the UN body after 23 years.
In a statement released after the win, the Kenyan president said, “Kenya will endeavour to consolidate and voice Africa’s position in the United Nations Security Council and will advance its 10-point agenda as outlined during the campaign period.”
Working with the five permanent members of the council – Russia, UK, US, China and France – who all enjoy veto powers, Kenya will join nine other non-permanent members and could get a chance to preside over the Council’s sittings, which is a significant opportunity to influence agenda.
The position is also a chance to assure the rest of the world of the legitimacy of the African Union (AU) in endorsing candidates from member states to “act in its name”.
When the AU endorsed Kenya for the seat, Djibouti rejected the decision and went ahead conducting parallel campaigns for the only seat allocated for Africa. Some political analysts saw the move as exposing the fractures within the 55-member AU.
With this win, Kenya will now be part of key decision making on global peace and security.
Some of such decisions may include sanctions, authorising use of force to preserve peace as well as the election of judges into the International Court of Justice.
President Kenyatta says Kenya will “voice Africa’s position in the Security Council”.
In 2020, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti congratulated Kenya on its win, saying that he hopes Nairobi will bring “valuable debate” to the Council.