Boost for Kenya’s UN council candidature as Suriname pledges support

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during the 3rd UN Environment Assembly. Kenya's bid to the UN security council has recieved a backing from Suriname PHOTO: COURTESY.

The race by Kenya to become a non-permanent member of the UN security council has received a boost after the President of Suriname Desire Delano Bouterse said that the country would back Kenya’s candidature.

The assurance was delivered when he paid a courtesy call to President Kenyatta in statehouse Nairobi.

Suriname is a Caribbean country that borders Guyana and French Guyana.

Tanzania has also reaffirmed its support to Kenya for the seat.

Kenya hopes to take up the seat which will fall vacant in January 2021 from South Africa.

The assurances were delivered to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi by Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi and Mr. Kabudi paid President Kenyatta a courtesy visit as a special envoy of President John Pombe Magufuli.

“We have confidence in Kenya, that you will champion the African voice and will strongly advocate the continent’s position in the UN body,” Mr. Kabudi said.

President Kenyatta launched the Kenyan candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC during a summit held by the council in New York on 7th November.

The UN security council is mandated with the responsibility of maintaining peace however its membership has been a hot potato for many years with US, UK, Russia, China, and France being the only countries with permanent seats.

All the other 188 member countries can apply to be elected for a temporary renewable membership which is only open to 10 member states annually.

The current composition has always come under heavy disapproval with many arguing that it has led to the making of decisions that are heavily bent towards the interests of developed nations leaving Africa out whose members makeup 28% of the council’s membership.

Kenya is the official African Union representative after flooring Djibouti during a voting session held during the AU summit in August.

Kenya garnered 39 votes against Djibouti’s 13 after the two countries failed to reach into a consensus on who would be the African Union representative forcing the AU to call for elections.

However, in a surprise turn of events to both Kenya and the AU, Djibouti announced that she will still run for the seat further announcing that she would launch campaigns at the UN security council meeting slated for the 5th of December.

The horn of Africa nation hopes to use the Kenya-Somalia maritime border dispute to discredit Kenya’s candidature.

Should Kenya clinch the seat, it will be her third time serving in the council having served in 1973-74 and 1997-98.

However should the two countries tie in the voting, they might be forced to share the seat.