Kenya concludes rotational presidency at UN security council
By Patrick Vidija
| October 31st 2021
Kenya has concluded her Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October 2021.
In what has proved to be a historic and consequential month for the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy, Nairobi said her Presidency of the Council has provided Kenya with a vital platform for the advancement of the country’s foreign policy objectives and also in contributing to a safer, secure and prosperous Africa.
Kenya assumed the rotational Presidency of the UN Security Council on October 1 in what was termed as a watershed moment in the country’s two-year tenure at the Security Council.
This is informed by the fact that the UN Security Council is the principal organ for the maintenance and furtherance of international peace and security.
Mexico now takes over the Presidency for the month of November before handing it over to Niger for the month of December.
In a statement on Sunday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said it is worth recalling that Kenya’s membership of the UN Security Council is in keeping with the country’s desire to shape the global security environment in order to make Kenya and Kenyans safer.
“Indeed, the conduct, outcomes and accomplishments of Kenya’s Presidency of the Council in October 2021 were not only consistent with the country’s strategic security goals but were also vital in impressing on the Council, Kenyan as well as African ethos in addressing global security challenges,” Omamo said.
Kenya facilitated the adoption of two Security Council Presidential Statements which will henceforth form part of the official documentation and records of the Council.
These PRSTs were adopted following high-level open debates of the Security Council that were presided over by the leadership of the country.
On October 28, 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over a High-Level Open Debate of the Council on the Cooperation between the United Nations, and Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations (African Union), under the theme of “Renewing Solidarity to Successfully Deliver Peace and Security in a Changing Conflict Environment”.
On October 20, Omamo presided over a ministerial open debate on the Great Lakes Region.
This was in support of renewed commitment of the Great Lakes countries in seeking sustainable solutions to the root causes and drivers of conflict.
In the debate, Nairobi appealed to the United Nations Security Council to move swiftly and address illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources within countries in Africa's Great Lakes Region.
Omamo said it is worth noting that Kenya presided over the opening up of the Security Council Chambers for the in-person participation of the wider UN membership in Council’s deliberations, making Kenya’ Presidency the first to be held in-person since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She later chaired an in-person Ministerial Level Open debate on Women and Peace and Security, with more than 60 delegations participating at the event.
During the debate, Kenya called for the inclusion of women in conflict resolutions.
Kenya said it is necessary to uplift and amplify the voices of women to bolster their contributions to conflict prevention and peacemaking.
“Kenya’s Presidency of the Council has similarly been instrumental in re-energizing and revitalizing discussions on the Middle East, particularly on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” she said.
In the session, Principle secretary Macharia Kamau invited the Council to break from past models that had been used to address the conflicts in the Middle East.
The PS proffered the adoption of the diverse, well-defined, cultural-context grassroot channels in seeking innovative answers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb Martin Kimani led the Security Council for a field visit to the Sahel region of Africa, a visit that saw the Council call on the leadership of Mali and Niger.
“This visit was both historic and significant as it allowed the Council to assess and be apprised of the challenges of terrorism in the Sahel and how these impacted on the governance and stability of the region. This visit to the Sahel was also the first such visit by the Council during the Covid era,” she said.
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