UN General Assembly: Kenya picks Africa’s last slot in UN Security Council

By Harrison Arubu/New York

Kenya has outmuscled Djibouti to clinch Africa’s last non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

Kenya will serve a two-year term in the powerful council beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Its victory came during the second round of voting by member states in the General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday.

The results were announced by the President of the Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, who presided over the election.

Kenya secured 129 votes, just one point above the required two-thirds majority of 128 votes, as against Djibouti’s 62.

READ ALSO  COVID-19: Mozambique confirms first case, Kenya reports more cases

Africa has three non-permanent seats, currently occupied by Niger, Tunisia and South Africa in the council.

Tunisia and Niger took two of the seats in January, meaning that Kenya will now succeed South Africa, whose term ends in January.

The first round of voting held on Wednesday but none of the two countries could secure the two-third majority to clinch the coveted seat.

The Security Council is the most powerful organ of the UN as it is the only body that passes legally binding resolutions.

Its powers include the imposition of international sanctions and authorisation of peacekeeping operations, besides giving members a strong voice on international peace and security issues.

READ ALSO  US Military confirms Camp Simba attack, mum on casualties

The 15-member council comprises five permanent members (UK, China, France, Russia and the United States), which have veto powers, and 10 non-permanent members.

The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, which are distributed on a regional basis.