Kenya’s bid to secure a seat at the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member received a major boost as Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka explained why the country’s potential contribution to the critical UN body could not be gainsaid.
Addressing the 141st Assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) in Belgrade, Serbia, Lusaka underscored Kenya’s contribution to regional security, humanitarianism, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism; through efforts such as Operation Linda Nchi, contribution to AMISOM troops in Somalia, as well as playing host to over 600,000 refugees.
“Kenya seeks to join the Security Council because we believe we can further make a positive contribution to global peace and security and promote ideas for the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Lusaka.
Kenya’s campaign is themed: ‘Peace and Security for Sustainable Development’.
In recognition of and appreciating Kenya’s role in strengthening international law and contribution to regional cooperation, the African Union endorsed Kenya’s candidature for a Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC in August this year.
The UN’s Security Council has the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It enjoys robust powers including the imposition of sanctions and authorisation of military action when international peace is threatened.
The Senate Speaker also faulted the escalation of the Somalia-Kenya Maritime Boundary Dispute by Somalia to the International Court of Justice, which is an external court of last resort, before exhausting dispute resolution via the African Union.
“Kenya strongly believes that sustainable resolution of the dispute can be achieved using the mechanisms provided by the African Union,” Lusaka emphasized.
The IPU provides an invaluable avenue for parliamentary diplomacy through high octane lobbying and networking.
Speaker Lusaka is leading the Kenyan delegation to the Assembly. It comprises Sen Susan Kihika, Sen Johnson Sakaja, Sen Petronila Lokorio, Hon Patrick Mariru, Hon (Prof) Jacquiline Oduol, Hon David Ochieng, Hon Naisula Lesuuda, Hon Lilian Gogo, Hon Benjamin Mwangi and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Michael Sialai.