Ahead of the official launch for the bid in June, the country has already started lobbying among peers at the African Union and visiting dignitaries to gain a seat on the UN Security Council.
At state events, Kenyan officials have intensified their lobbying efforts targeting visiting dignitaries and reiterate the same pleas during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visits abroad.
Kenya’s rallying call to bag the seat lies on its quest to influence the world to focus on issues affecting the developing world. A brochure on the country’s candidature by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated climate change and sustainable development are the two key areas where the global powers have failed to take leadership.
“Kenya must not sit back and hope for the best. Kenya, like other progressive states, needs to be active, strategically vigilant, situationally agile and invest continually in its stock of foreign policy.
“This informs Kenya's preoccupation to lobby the international community to urgently put mechanisms in place to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the consequences of global warming which we are already experiencing.”
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Macharia Kamau says Kenya’s entry into the UN’s most powerful body will help Nairobi focus on climate change, sustainable development, and the region’s security.
“This government has been trying to do things that are exemplary to the world. Taking this leadership in the world is a very rare thing in the developing world,” he told the Nation, a Kenyan local daily.
Mr. Kamau says Kenya, which has been a non-permanent member before, in 1973 and 1997 and which on both occasions, focused on peaceful resolution of conflicts and self-determination of countries seeking independence, has come of age and is more than able to fill up one of the two seats up for grabs for Africa at the United Nations Security Council when the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York in September.
“It has demonstrated its capabilities in regional, continental and global international relations. We have brought peace to our region by engaging in ways in which we have shown that we are a very capable country to help countries create peace and stability for themselves,” he said.
The UN Security Council is the global organisation’s most powerful agency. The Council has five permanent members (the US, the UK, France, China, and Russia) and 10 non-permanent members who serve two years each in rotation.
Traditionally, the five permanent members call the shots on issues affecting world peace and security and can veto a substantive decision of, say, authorising the invasion of a country.
To win the vote, Kenya will have to garner a two-thirds majority. Running for the seat is not hard, the harder part is influencing the council’s decisions.