President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday outlined a four-point agenda that Kenya will advance as the country settles into its non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The President listed leveraging the knowledge and buy-in of stakeholders closest to crises and supporting the Security Council as well as associated UN bodies to strengthen the capacity of state institutions during post-conflict reconstruction as two of the measures that Kenya will support.
“The Peace-building Commission will play an invaluable role, which Kenya will support closely over the next two years,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State spoke Wednesday evening during a virtual meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile contexts.
President Kenyatta said Kenya will also back measures aimed at strengthening the role of Africa and the Global South in the multilateral system as well as ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not become a major driver of insecurity.
“If fragile countries do not get prompt access to the vaccine, their economic problems will likely turn into political and security challenges.
“Affordable and quick access to the COVID-19 vaccine should, therefore, be regarded as a valuable investment in peace,” President Kenyatta said.
Congratulating President Kais Saied of Tunisia for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of January 2021, President Kenyatta noted that Tunisia played a pivotal role in the adoption of Resolution 2532 by which the UNSC recognized the devastating impact of COVID-19 especially in countries in conflict or post-conflict situations.
President Kenyatta’s participation at the meeting follows Kenya’s assumption of its position at the UNSC as a non-permanent member for two years on Monday evening.
He noted that peace will only be maintained if countries faced with conflict are facilitated to be strong enough to win control of their territory and provide public services.
“The multilateral system, as embodied in the UN, will therefore need to help fragile states attain such capacities.
“The political processes that build peace and binding resolutions by this council should include measurable state strengthening elements,” President Kenyatta said.
He emphasized that the road to revitalising multilateralism to effectively deliver global peace and security must run through a united Africa and an active and engaged Global South.
Noting that the Security Council spends the bulk of its agenda on conflicts in Africa, President Kenyatta said this is testament to the fragility of many countries and regions on the continent.
“If we are to be true to the founding charter of the UN, it follows, therefore, that we should invest more in building more effective approaches or revitalizing existing mechanisms, that maintain peace and anchor stability in Africa,” President Kenyatta said.
He commended Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for becoming the plus one of the Africa three, saying the move allows the hundreds of millions in Africa, the Caribbean and other parts of the world to believe that their voice in the Security Council matters.
“That belief will lead to greater faith in the United Nations and its decisions. It is for this reason that I have tasked our Mission to the UN to be a strong voice for a united Africa, for the Global South and the General Assembly,” President Kenyatta said.
Speaking during the meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf highlighted the root causes of global conflicts and called for a concerted effort to address them.
Other speakers included President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who emphasized the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach in addressing fragility and instability in the world.