Kenya emerged victorious in the first round of elections for the United Nation Security Council seat. However she was made to wait after she failed to KENYA FAILS to get the two-thirds majority needed to secure the seat.
The East African country trounced her closest rival Djibouti in a 113 against 78 votes showdown.
“A vote for Kenya is a vote for Africa,” President Kenyatta said in his final lobby for support.
Kenya had prior to the poll been endorsed by the African Union (AU) in a bid seen as a reward for Kenya’s efforts in peace building and conflict resolution in the continent of Africa. Equally, the country had been declared the third largest economy in the region by the International Monetary Fund, putting it at the heart of international goodwill.
Should Kenya win in final round of the elections after securing two thirds of the total votes, she will be a nonpermanent member of the UN security Council representing the African wing. In simple terms, Kenya will hold the post for two years.
The elections will be held on Thursday June 18.
Nairobi and Djibouti are competing for the non-permanent member seat for the African bloc.
A new member at the UN’s most powerful organ needs at least two thirds of the voting member states to be declared winner — meaning 128 votes should all 193 nations vote.
This year there are five seats on the 15-member body available with a seat each for Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and two seats for Western Europe. The winners serve a two-year term.
Countries can be declared winners when they amass two-thirds of the vote in the first rounding of voting.
If no one achieves that at the first round, the subsequent round of voting is restricted to two candidates who had the most votes in the first round. This can go on three times. If neither country garners the required votes, the floor can be opened for any interested candidates to join the race.
The UN Security Council is the most powerful organ of the UN, charged with maintaining global peace and security. Its decisions, by law, must be obeyed by all UN member states, giving its prestige and power.
Nairobi, if it wins, would be among the ten non-permanent members, who often work alongside the permanent five (Russia, China, United Kingdom, United States, and France) to pass resolutions touching on global peace and security.
While the permanent five often have powers to veto, their continual bickering on key issues has often required the non-permanent ten to tilt decisions in their favour, making all members of the Council influential. Besides, all members of the Council get a chance to preside of sittings, providing another opportunity to influence the agenda.
Nairobi is banking on the African Union endorsement and its own networks abroad to hope to overhaul Djibouti.
The elections for non-permanent seats of the UN’s most powerful are often routine annual events. Wednesday’s were historic because representatives voted under restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, and without the plenary sessions.
India, Mexico, Canada, Ireland and Norway were the other countries who fronted their candidature. India had by Wednesday evening won its contest for the Asia/Pacific region, scoring 184 votes. It ran unopposed.
Kenya last held the seat in the period of 1997-1998.