It has been a tough season where the world has been battling a pandemic that seems to have crippled many activities for more than four months. Everyone’s prayer has been a solution that will end travel bans, curfews, and lockdowns imposed because of the killer virus.
Amid the negative chatter going on following the COVID 19 pandemic, I congratulate my country Kenya for managing to clinch the United Nation’s Security Council 2021-2022 seat. Indeed, this is a great achievement since 1999 was the last time Kenya held the position. The UNSC non-permanent seat Africa previously held by South Africa was being contested for by Kenya and Djibouti and we garnered a total of 129 votes against Djibouti’s 64 in a total of 193 voters.
The win is an opportunity for Kenya to champion Africa’s collective voice at the UNSC hence inspiring hope for the continent by ensuring that everyone is heard.
Having Kenya in the UNSC does not only mean addressing East Africa’s security concerns but Kenya will also represent security challenges experienced in other African regions
Being elected to the Council means that Kenya is part of a team whose mandate is:
Maintaining international peace and security through investigating disputes or situations which might lead to international friction.
Recommending methods of adjusting disputes or terms of settlements; formulating plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments.
Determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and recommending what action should be taken.
Calling on members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent aggression.
Taking military action against an aggressor.
Recommending the admission of new members.
Exercising the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in strategic areas and to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the secretary-general and together with the Assembly to elect Judges of the International Court of Justice.
Insecurity has been a major threat in Africa and Kenya has played a key role in conflict resolution and peacekeeping among its neighbors by facilitating dialogue between conflicting leaders of countries, providing refugee settlements for people running from war-torn countries, and sending its troops out for peacekeeping missions.
At home, we have repeatedly heard of attacks by the Al Shabaab both in Kenya and in neighboring environments. Despite all the activities conducted by Al-Shabaab which include but are not limited to bombings and abductions, the UN has been reluctant in declaring Al-Shabaab a terrorist group and Kenya’s election to the UNSC creates an avenue to outline the threat Al-Shabaab poses to not only Kenya but also the East African Community entirely. Naming them as a terror group means that they can not receive any funding thus reducing the number of attacks.
Having Kenya in the UNSC does not only mean addressing East Africa’s security concerns but Kenya will also represent security challenges experienced in other African regions such as the Sahel and Mozambique which have constantly experienced terrorism threats from ISIS and Boko Haram terror groups. Kenya’s experience with Al Shabab makes it able to relate with these challenges hence enabling it to advocate for a continental solution to the challenge.
We appreciate the fact Kenya is now well equipped to make policies that favor Africa towards the fight against terrorism but it is also crucial to note that this is a win against our assailants and therefore not everyone is happy with Kenya’s win in the UNSC. Some view this as a threat to their advance in conducting terror activities. This angers them hence they will try to increase terror attacks to undermine Kenya’s efforts to thwart terrorism. Every citizen needs therefore to be vigilant because the position we hold now will attract more enemies just as it has attracted many friends for us.