Kenya defeats Djibouti to secure seat at UN Security Council

By Oluwaseun Sonde

Kenya has defeated Djibouti to secure the last African seat as non-permanent member of United Nations (UN) Security Council, in a second round of voting on Thursday at the General Assembly in New York, with 192 ambassadors casting their ballots during pre-determined time slots.

Backed by the African Union, Kenya garnered 129 votes against Djibouti’s 62, and will join Tunisia and Niger at the Council for two years, 2021-2022. The run-off took place one day after elections to select five new non-permanent members to serve on the Council, based on regional groupings.

Both Kenya and Djibouti had failed to secure the required two-thirds majority on Wednesday, on 128 votes while in the second round, Kenya received 129 votes, and Djibouti 62. Fifteen countries sit on the Security Council, the UN organ that maintains international peace and security. Five are permanent members, who have the right to veto resolutions: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Joining Kenya at the iconic horseshoe-shaped table in January are India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway. Canada lost out on Wednesday in the other contested seat, within the Western Europe and other States.

Meanwhile, Nairobi had campaigned on its contribution to East Africa’s peace efforts and its participation in AU peacekeeping missions. In his final plea to UN General Assembly delegates, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday said Kenya would use its stint at the Security Council to advance the Pan-Africanist agenda of global peace, solidarity and multilateralism.

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