The African Union (AU) has endorsed Kenya to represent the African continent at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2021-2022 term. Kenya garnered 37 votes against Djibouti’s 13 in a second round of voting by the Permanent Representatives Committee.
The first vote was held on August 5, Kenya garnered 33 out of 49 ballots cast by members present, falling short of the two-thirds threshold.
The UNSC seats reserved for Africa are often available on a regional rotational basis with the 2021 vacancy falling on eastern Africa. Only Kenya and Djibouti showed interest.
The African Union will present Kenya (Eastern) to the UNSC for elections to be held in New York on June 2020 to serve for a period of two years (2021-2022). Kenya is set to join Niger (Western) and Tunisia (Northern) that were elected in 2019 to serve in 2020-2021.
A member is proposed and when there is no consensus, a vote is held where the winner must garner a two-thirds majority of the AU member states.
The council is the UN’s most powerful organ with five permanent members – United Kingdom, United States, China, Russia, and France. Kenya has previously served twice at the council in 1973 and 1997.
Election into UNSC will give Kenya the opportunity to build consensus across regional and global matters affecting Africa given the country’s Afrocentric stance.