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For world peace, Kenya pursues seat on the UN Security Council

Thursday November 7 2019

CS Monica Juma in Addis

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma presents campaign material for Kenya’s candidature for a seat at the UN Security Council to Ethiopian Foreign Affairs minister Gedu Andargachew during a function in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 26, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY 

MONICA JUMA
By MONICA JUMA
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Tonight, I will lead the Kenyan delegation in the official launch of our global campaign for a United Nations Security Council non-permanent seat in 2021-2022.

We come to New York with Africa, after an endorsement with more than two-thirds of the vote on August 21, and for this we are deeply grateful for the confidence bestowed upon us.

With slightly more than six months before the vote next June at the UN headquarters, our eyes are now focused on executing a well-coordinated campaign strategy.

Serving on the UNSC offers a unique opportunity to shape the definition and solution to global peace and security challenges.

This is particularly critical as Africa seeks to pursue an ambitious all-encompassing Vision 2063 that aspires to have a continent that is peaceful, integrated and prosperous.

GLOBAL PEACE

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We seek to contribute to global peace and security as the aspirations of Africa will be realised within a global context. Our ultimate goal is conducive conditions for sustainable development. Reflecting this vision and desire, our campaign is themed “Peace and Security for Sustainable Development”, or “Building Peace”.

We seek to achieve peace and security for all through the cultivation of a climate of trust, transparency and synergy of all actors; promoting the respect for international rules and norms; ensuring sensitivity to member state’s interests; advancing peaceful resolution of conflicts; and delivering increased cooperation in global peace and security efforts.

Consequently, we have evolved a 10-Point agenda that seeks to build bridges; enhance regional peace and security; contribute to effective peace support operations; address the complex challenge of terrorism and extremism; promote human rights and good governance; and promote the role of women in peace and security.

We also seek to contribute to humanitarian action and protect vulnerable populations; promote sustainable development; enhance positive climate action to rebalance the ecosystems and reduce vulnerability; and promote the role of the youth in sustainable security.

MAGNANIMITY

Leading the campaign is President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been seeking the support of other leaders globally.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a dedicated campaign team led by Ambassador Tom Amolo under the strategic guidance of my office, supported by Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau.

Kenya has always exercised magnanimity, accommodation and inclusivity and promoted rotation when considering competitive international candidatures. Since 2013, it has been a candidate-in-waiting, graciously shelving ambitions to serve in the council twice in favour of its neighbours.

For example, it terminated its campaign for the 2013-2014 term in favour of Rwanda when they were commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. In 2018-2019, Kenya stepped down again in support of Ethiopia.

The East African region has been one of the most inclusive on the continent in giving member states an opportunity to serve in the UNSC. As a result, majority of the countries have served several times — Ethiopia and Uganda thrice, Tanzania and Mauritius twice and Somalia, Madagascar and Djibouti once.

Kenya has served on the UNSC twice — in 1974, when a phalanx of world-class diplomats took the stage under the leadership of Dr. Njoroge Mungai, Foreign Affairs minister under First President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta; and in 1997, when Kenya, then among the first multiparty democracies on the continent, was overwhelmingly readmitted by a vote of 185 of the possible 186.

HUGE PORTFOLIO

The Foreign Affairs team then was led by then-Minister Kalonzo Musyoka.

Our credentials are in good stead. They include a huge portfolio of experience and competencies in the pursuit of peace and security, such as midwifing several peace processes and being a leading protector and provider of displaced foreign populations.

We have contributed more than 40,000 troops to global peace operations and stood in solidarity with countries and populations in distress, as during the Ebola pandemic or cyclone Idai, besides contributing to the Africa Peace Fund and the UN Peace-building Commission.

I urge support for Africa by voting its endorsed candidate, the Republic of Kenya, in June.

Ms Juma is the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

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