Kenya

Meeting to seek partnerships for global peace and security

Meeting to seek partnerships for global peace and security

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the 74th Session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters on September 25, 2019 in New York.

Photo credit: AFP

Kenya’s two-year tenure as an elected United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member just passed the six-month mark. The seat is a platform for Kenya to demonstrate consistent leadership in the articulation of the continental peace and security agenda at the global arena.

The country’s peace and security credentials have similarly been demonstrated, and reinforced, through its membership of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), AU’s standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. Both seats constitute critical Infrastructures for the maintenance and furtherance of international peace and security.

As part of the execution of its peace and security mandate, Kenya is hosting a retreat of the UNSC’s A3+1 from today to Friday in Nairobi and Mombasa. Established in 2013, the caucus of three African members to the UNSC is a distinct one that maintains the UNSC-AUPSC link on shared concerns and to advance Africa’s positions on its affairs in the UNSC.

The current A3 members are Kenya, Niger and Tunisia, with the latter two due to be replaced by Ghana and Gabon next year. In January last year, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), a Caribbean country that commenced her two-year UNSC tenure, aligned with the A3 on account of its predominantly African roots, thus creating the A3+1.

The retreat will seek to reinvigorate the group’s role in the prosecution of the agenda of Africa and the Sixth Region (the Caribbean) at the UNSC. Hosting of the retreat dovetails with the strategic objectives of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the President-in-Office of the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

International partnerships

It is consistent with the 983rd meeting of the AUPSC on March 4, 2021, themed “Unified role of the African Members in the United Nations (UN) Security Council (A3) in the UN Security Council” under Kenya’s leadership.

Kenya also holds the Chair the Security Council Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, a position it is using to advance its chosen theme of “Listening Better to African Country Perspectives and Learning Lessons from Success in Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Transition”. It is within the context that it is also pursuing enhanced UNSC-AUPSC cooperation in addressing Africa’s peace and security challenges.

Equally, Kenya has continued to leverage its UNSC membership to strengthen international partnerships in responding to global threats of terrorism and violent extremism. It will bank on its invaluable experiences as an anchor state and guarantor of regional peace and security to proffer counsel towards a conflict-free Africa.

It is also part of a growing group of UN member states advocating consensus on the climate change-security nexus. A renowned champion of climate change response and environmental protection, it is the only UN headquarters (UNEP and UN Habitat) in the global South.

As the current A3+1 coordinator, Kenya aims to ensure that Africa’s voice in the UNSC is not only strong and clear but also convincing.

Mr Kamau is Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.