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Amb Kimani: Kenya amply represented interests of Africa at UNSC

Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Martin Kimani

Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amb. Martin Kimani says the East African country in keeping within its mandate championed the interests of Africa at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Speaking during the just-concluded 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the envoy said Kenya’s two-year tenure at the UNSC was fruitful and reaped maximum benefits to the continent particularly seen through what was achieved at the UN body.

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“We used the seat to support our pursuit of peace mediation in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes. We learned that the Council is a single link in a chain of actions that stretch from capital to practical initiatives,” said Amb. Kimani.

Before joining the council, Amb. Kimani noted that Kenya mapped out areas that needed special focus, namely; regional peace, counter terrorism, climate and security, peace operations and peacebuilding.

A3 represents the three African countries endorsed by the African Union to join the United Nations Security Council as elected non-permanent members.


He said Kenya was always determined to speak for Africa despite opposition in some instances, and that a big part of the country’s success was the unity under the A3+1/A3.

“Unity requires investment. We did so by hosting the A3 Permanent Representatives (PRs) in Kenya and facilitating A3+1 Political Coordinators (PCs) and experts to travel to Addis for interaction with their African Union (AU) and the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) counterparts. We also undertook capacity building of incoming members.” He said.

“We listened to the region and encouraged the Council to support an Ethiopian-led and AU-facilitated ceasefire.” He adds.

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As chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, he noted that Kenya facilitated the successful adoption of two substantive communiques during the 15th and 16th Annual Joint Consultative meetings between the UNSC and African Union Peace and Security Council held in 2021 and 2022.

Additionally, in advancing the clear positions of the AU and sub-regional organisations, the A3 secured the lifting of arms embargoes on 2 states; Democratic Republic of Congo was fully lifted while that of the Central African Republic, only a notification requirement remains.

“We insisted that sanctions/benchmarks be achievable, tied to national capacity building and regularly transparently reviewed with a willingness to drop them,” he said.

Amongst a myriad of achievements, the diplomat cited Kenya’s push for the transitioning of the African Union in transitioning from the African Union Mission (AMISOM) to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) at a time when the mission’s mandate was coming to a close.

“Our collaborative efforts also resulted in modest improvement to the mandates of UN peacekeeping missions,” Amb. Kimani added.

This, he believes, dealt a decisive blow to terrorist groups operating inside Somalia where they launch attacks at will. He notes, the damage would have been immense if AMISOM’s time lapsed without an alternative mechanism.

“The most significant achievement on counter terrorism, for us, is the strengthening of targeted sanctions measures against Al-Shabaab with the adoption of Resolution 2662 (2022).” said the envoy.

Among Kenya’s efforts to boost regional peace and security, Amb Kimani also highlighted the marshalling of the Council to back the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the East African Community to stabilise eastern DRC.

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And that’s not all as Kenya advocated for the appointment of persons from Africa to major leadership positions, key among them the appointment of Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal as the Special Representative for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

Peacebuilding

“We infused Peacebuilding into the Security Council’s activities: for instance, during our tenure as the informal coordinator between the UNSC and the Peacebuilding Commission, there was a sharp increase in the number of advisories by the PBC to the UNSC on African files,” he said

Consequently, Kenya he says together with Ireland and Mexico pioneered the Shared Commitments on Women Peace and Security during their trio presidencies.

“We left a legacy on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Together with Ireland and Mexico, we pioneered the Shared Commitments on Women Peace and Security during our trio presidencies. Today, 15 current and former members of the Security Council have joined this initiative”.

In his speech Amb. Kimani also pointed out that Kenya stood for the African diaspora. She implemented the Constitutive Act’s recognition of the African diaspora.

Through the A3, he said Kenya championed the safety of all peoples of African descent including those who were escaping the war in Ukraine and subjected to racist treatment. In Colombia, with the A3, the country also made a case for the expeditious implementation of the Ethnic Chapter of the Final Peace Agreement regarding indigenous and Afro Colombian people adding that: “We are glad that the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia mandate now includes the Ethnic Chapter.”

He challenged the AU to ensure that there is a well-organised digital repository for files that incoming members can use.

Adding that: “It would also be a great help for experts to be shared by delegations, as is done by other regions. Let not every A3 country start its term from scratch.”

The Ambassador said, the +1 position in 2020/21 by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines standing with the A3 position in the Security Council provided the three African countries were united was a historic connection between Africa and its diaspora saying It is an immense opportunity that needs to be built on.

“In the Council, having four voices for Africa is powerful leverage. African Union and CARICOM leaders have a big opportunity to strengthen multilateralism and re-energise Pan-Africanism. As a member of the UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, I embrace this call.” Amb. Kimani said.

Among its functions, the Council promotes, monitors and keeps under constant review the implementation of the programmes of the Community and ensures the proper functioning of the regional bloc.

A3+1

A3 are the 3 African countries endorsed by the African Union at any given time to join the UNSC. In 2021, it was Kenya, Niger and Tunisia.

In 2022, the latter two rotated out and Ghana and Gabon came in. Then Kenya finished her tenure and Mozambique joined the two.

The A3+1 is a formula that was born uniquely in 2020 /2021 where Saint Vincent and the Grenadines requested to join the A3.

This happened in January 2020 two weeks after the country took its two-year seat on the Council.

It spontaneously allied its voice with the three current African members on the Council, Niger, South Africa and Tunisia, creating the A3+1.

Saint Vincent joined the UN in 1980, and with a population of 110,000.

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