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Kenyans in premature celebrations, battle still on for UN seat

COUNTIES
By Saada Hassan | June 18th 2020
The United Nations Security Council meets on Syria at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., March 12, 2018. [Photo: Reuters]


Celebrations came in early for Kenya after it garnered 113 votes against Djibouti’s 78 votes in the first round of voting on Wednesday for the UN Security Council non-permanent seat.

Some took to twitter as alerts were incoming to relay congratulatory messages to Kenya.

“Kenya registers victory in the Security Council elections bringing the country to the UN high-table as a non-permanent member for the 2021-22 term.” But the battle stays on.

Hours away from the second round of voting, Kenya will still go head to head with Djibouti in the battle to clinch the UN seat after failing to secure 2/3 of the votes.

Kenya, AU’s favorite got the first victory but it was not enough according to the voting rules. The elections which began at 4pm Kenyan time (EAT) will be redone to break the stalemate in New York City, USA.

With a trend #KenyaSaysThankYou ongoing, Kenyan diplomats will have to work harder to lobby countries all over the world within the few remaining hours to rally behind Kenya and see off Djibouti’s challenge.

The country along the northeast coast of the Horn of Africa has put up a spirited parallel fight despite African Union’s decision to endorse Kenya in order to secure the only seat allocated for Africa.

Djibouti argues that it should have the seat due to Nairobi’s past participation on the Security Council and the principle of rotation.

Turkey now holds the coveted Presidency title of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, after winning a unanimous support from the UN member-states.

The Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir, will take over from Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the current General Assembly president in September, when the annual session opens.

India won unopposed as the Asia-Pacific representative, while Mexico, Norway and Ireland were also chosen as non-permanent members.

Canada suffered a blow after losing the Western seats to Ireland and Norway despite a long and star-studded campaign by its’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The UN Security Council is mandated with maintaining international peace and security, a position that has its’ member states fighting for after every two years.

Kenya has previously served at the council in 1973-74 and 1997-98.

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations, Ambassador Lazarus Amayo has thanked the UN member states for the first round of support.

“We thank the UN Member States for the support extended to #Kenya's #UNSC candidature. Kenya has majority support & is slightly short of the required 2/3 majority. As guided by the #PGA, we will have a 2nd round of voting…”said the Ambassador.

If Kenya wins, it would be among the 10 non-permanent members, who hand in hand with the permanent five (Russia, China, UK, US, France) to pass resolutions touching on global peace and security.

If no winner emerges from the third round for the Africa seat, there could be a further round of voting.
Then after, the contest could be open to new entrants if neither Kenya nor Djibouti concedes. Alternatively, they might agree to share out the seat, a year each on the Council.

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