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Kenya to launch campaigns for UN Security Council seat

14 January 2014, 08:22

Nairobi - The government said Monday it will launch early campaigns to vie for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

A statement from the ministry of foreign affairs said the key roles Kenya continues to play have strategically raised her profile both within UN circles and regional groupings, positioning Nairobi as a key contender for the 2017-2018 UNSC bid.

"In this regard, Kenya plans to launch its UNSC campaign early this year as time is of essence," the ministry said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

This will be the country's third time to return to the UNSC if her bid is successful. The past two periods that Kenya served in the UNSC were in 1973-1974 and 1997-1998.

"The Kenya Mission to the UN in New York continues to provide strategic leadership in many areas including in the Bureau of UN Forests Forum, previously chairing the South–South initiative and in many more other fora at the UN," the statement said.

A regional expert has also expressed optimism that Kenya might secure one of the non-permanent UN Security Council seats once it vies for the possible in 2016.

The expert who declined to be named told Xinhua on Monday that Kenya's key role in the regional peace making initiatives and the nation's qualifications as being the sixth of all countries that contribute peacekeepers to missions across the world will give it an edge over opponents.

The UN General Assembly is due to hold its elections for the 71st session in 2016 and this would be the first time East African nation whose two leaders have been accused for war crimes at The Hague, is seeking a top position in the UN.

The UN Security Council has five permanent members who include U.S., Britain, China, France and Russian Federation.

It has ten non-permanent members currently occupied by Rwanda, Togo, Republic of Korea, Morocco and Argentina. Others are Australia, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan, Guatemala and Luxemburg.

Meanwhile, the ministry announced the election by Member States of Macharia Kamau, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN in New York, U.S. as the new president of the Executive Board of UNICEF for one year, 2014.

Kamau will represent Kenya and Africa in the board and assumes his responsibilities immediately, succeeding Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN on behalf of the Western European Group, whose one year term as President of the Board has come to an end.

Kamau has been serving, for the last two years (2012-2013), as the Vice-President of the UNICEF Executive Board on behalf of Kenya and the African Group.

Kamau is no stranger to UNICEF having worked here in various positions up to the level of country representative, for over 25 years.

"During his tenure, he achieved tremendous success in many respects and he was able to oversee the implementation of key projects which saw alleviation of the suffering of many children in the continent of Africa, where most of his tour of duty was served," the statement said.

The composition of the 2014 UNICEF Executive Board includes the four Vice-Presidents, namely, Bulgaria (Eastern Europe), Denmark (WEOG), Haiti (GRULAC), Pakistan (Asia) and 36 Bureau members, including eight African countries represented by Central African Republic (CAR), DRC, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana and Zambia.

- Xinhua


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