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‘Hongera’ Kenya, on your election to United Nations Security Council

Tuesday June 23 2020
UN COUNCIL

The UN Security Council in session at the United Nations, New York, last year. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The ambassadors of the European Union and EU member states congratulate Kenyans and the government on Kenya’s election to the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council representing Africa on June 18.

This endorsement comes as no surprise and is deserved. It reflects the country’s importance in East Africa and Africa as a supporter of democracy and pluralism and its firm commitment to multilateralism.

For many years, Kenya has been a pivot of peace and security in the region as a host of refugees from neighbouring countries and partner in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

The UNSC seat is a reward for its multi-faceted role as a stabilising force and its reliability as a multilateral international partner.

SOCIETAL STRESSES

This provides Kenya, and the EU member states on the UNSC — Ireland, also elected last week, Estonia and permanent member France — the opportunity to work closely based on the Charter of the United Nations to address the many challenges in 2021-2022 and that are likely to be daunting.

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Economies will need time to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and the societal stresses in countries that face conflict, or are at risk of conflict, are likely to increase.

The EU and its member states are committed to working with Kenya to advance our shared priorities in areas such as women, peace and security, and the Sustainable Development Goals embodied in the 2030 UN Agenda for sustainable development which Kenya, Hungary and Ireland did a lot to facilitate. We will also maintain our peacebuilding based on human rights, particularly the protection of children in conflict.

It is to Kenya that the international community will turn for preserving peace and security in Africa, with the country located close to several conflicts that are at risk of over-spilling or are unresolved or under resolution through precarious peace processes.

 It now has the opportunity to see its international credentials boosted, political and economic ties to its neighbours strengthened and peace and security in the Horn of Africa much improved.

JOB CREATION

Climate and security are deeply interrelated and will be an important UNSC agenda. Kenya, also the seat of Unep, has a key role in reconciling climate with growth and job creation — a global challenge and EU priority under its ‘Green Deal’ of 2019. The UN Oceans Conference, to be co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal, is a great opportunity.

With President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States presidency, Kenya now has a full complement of instruments at its disposal to outline a new, more positive agenda for the continent and multilateralism.

In the EU, as a fellow supporter of multilateralism and of global peace and security, and in the European members of the UNSC, Kenya will find close partners and supporters to set a new agenda.

All the 19 EU and EU member state ambassadors to Kenya

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