Kenya becomes non-permanent member of UN Security Council

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (right), President of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, presides over the elections. At left is Movses Abelian, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management (Photo credit: UNITED NATIONS)

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande (right), President of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, presides over the elections. At left is Movses Abelian, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management (Photo credit: UNITED NATIONS)

June 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Kenya this evening won a non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council after garnering 129 votes in the second round against Djibouti on Thursday.

Djibouti got 62 votes after forcing the second voting by denying Kenya the win in the first round on Wednesday.

The first round of the election was conducted on Wednesday where Kenya got 113 votes while Djibouti got 78 votes against the required majority of 128 votes out of 192 member states.

As a result, the General Assembly pushed the second round of voting on Thursday to determine who will seat at the council as Africa’s representative.

Kenya’s candidature was endorsed by the African Union but Djibouti contested the endorsement.

Kenya will replace South Africa for the 2021-22 period.

Nairobi now joins the likes of India, Mexico, Norway, and Ireland among the 10 non-permanent members, who will work alongside the permanent five (Russia, China, UK, US, France) to pass resolutions touching on global peace and security in the 2021/22 period.

India won unopposed as the Asia-Pacific representative.

Turkey won the Presidency of the General Assembly.

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 authorization of military action when international peace is threatened.

Only five UN member states – the US, UK, Russia, China, and France – have permanent seats.

They are known as the P5 while the other 188 member states can be elected to non-renewable two-year terms.

Only 10 member states can fill those non-permanent slots at a time meaning at any one time, there are 15 member states sitting on the Council.

While the Council’s decisions are taken by a qualified majority, requiring support from nine of its fifteen members, only the P5 can individually exercise a veto to block a decision.

For the two vacant seats from among the African and Asia-Pacific States, three candidates had been communicated, namely, Djibouti, India, and Kenya. Of those three candidates,

India and Kenya were endorsed candidates.

Kenya has served twice previously as a member of the Council in 1973-74 and 1997-98.

In the 1972 election, Australia, Austria, Indonesia, Kenya, and Peru were elected as the five new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 1973.

This was the first time Kenya, Austria and Indonesia made it to the council for the first time.

Then, the General Assembly had a membership of 132 member states

Voting was conducted on a single ballot with Kenya garnering 112 votes in the first round.

The 1996 election was held on 21 October during the 51st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Kenya, Costa Rica, Japan, Portugal and Sweden were elected by the General Assembly as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for two-year terms commencing on 1 January 1997.

A total of eight candidates vied for the five seats.

Only the single seat for the African Group was uncontested thus Kenya was the only candidate.

Voting proceeded by secret ballot and Kenya garnered 172 votes out of the minimum required of 112 in the first round.

There were 181 ballots in each of the elections

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