Kenya clinched non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC) after garnering 129 votes which is above the required threshold of two-thirds of the cast votes. Its main rival Djibouti garnered 62 votes.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) failed to choose between Kenya and Djibouti in the first round that saw Kenya garner 113 votes against Djibouti’s 78 votes. Kenya was required to have two-thirds of the 192 votes which translates to 128 votes.
Kenya joins Norway, India, Mexico, and Ireland who won their bids in the first-round as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for a two-year term commencing on January 1, 2021.
Speaking after the win, President Uhuru Kenyatta said;
“Kenya will focus on matters that really matter which are peace in Somalia, supporting South Sudanese government, fighting terrorism, and work with regional governments to improve the East African region.”President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenya will replace South Africa at the UNSC. The country returns to the seat after a 23-year absence. The UNSC has five permanent members; United States, France, China, Russia, and United Kingdom, and 10 elected members with seats allocated to regional groups and five members elected every year.
The newly elected countries will replace exiting council members Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa. They will join current non-permanent members Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.
Kenya will be involved in decisions such as sanctions, authorizing use of force to preserve peace, and preside over the Council’s meeting which is a chance to influence agenda.