On 18th June 2020 Kenya won the bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council defeating Djibouti by 67 votes.
As part of the UNSC, Kenya joins 9 other non-permanent members and 5 permanent members including the United States, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, China, France and Russian Federation. Kenya will serve on the Council for 2 years beginning its term in 2021.
The UN’s Security Council has the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It enjoys robust powers including the imposition of sanctions and authorisation of military action when international peace is threatened.
The secondary benefit that comes from the actual work being done is two-fold.
Kenya will have a direct line of input on how a particular resolution/response is formed. Also, when it comes to very contentious Security Council action, Kenya may gain a little bit of leverage to extract outside concessions that Kenya might not otherwise get. Having a vote, even a non-veto vote gives a country a bit of power.
Kenya has served twice previously as a member of the Council – in 1973-74 and 1997-98. Its return will maintain a record of serving in 24-year intervals.
This time around, Kenya brings its regional leadership experience of supporting unstable governments in Somalia and South Sudan, and in assisting refugees in the region.