Kenya in All Out Campaign to Secure UN Security Council Seat

16 September 2019

Kenya has launched an all-out campaign for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, banking on its diplomats across the globe to do the promotions, amid tighter budgetary cuts.

Emerging from victory at the African Union last month, Kenya says that in fronting the campaign comprising diplomats and senior government officials, it would be killing two birds with one stone.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma called it a "well-crafted strategy" to reach out to partners across the globe, targeting some 129 votes out of the 193 member states of the United Nations with voting rights.

Kenya will today launch the bid in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, seeking to win a seat it hopes will elevate the image of Nairobi as well as the Horn of Africa.

Under the theme "Peace and security for sustainable development", Dr Juma said Kenya's pledge to Africa is to push for the UN to work more through regional bodies.

Though seeking only to be a non-permanent member for 2021-2022, Kenya says it could use the position to influence policies favourable to the region.

Often, non-permanent members do not decide on substantive votes such as sanctioning a country, but the rotational presidency of the Council gives opportunity for influencing agenda.

"The costs, so far, have been very minimal and we are using existing structures. The instructions to every head of mission is that they campaign at every opportunity they engage in," Dr Juma told reporters during the quarterly press briefing in Nairobi on Friday.

"We will rope in other government officials so that, as they travel for other businesses, they promote our candidature. You are not going to see any choppers flying around. It is not that kind of campaigning," she said, using the imagery of flamboyant political campaigns seen in Kenya at election times, but actually referring to the expensive trips abroad.

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