Uhuru Seeks Support Of West To Clinch UN Seat
President Uhuru Kenyatta jets out this weekend to the US for his White House visit on Monday at the invite of President Donald Trump.
The President’s in-tray is full as he will host British Prime Minister Theresa May just two days after his meeting with Trump.
A day later, the Head of State is set to meet China’s President Xi Jinping from September 1-5, 2018 in Beijing, during the Summit on the Forum on China Africa Cooperation.
The three meetings come at a time Kenya is strategically positioning itself as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), banking on its resilience in the fight against Al Shabaab and other extremist groups.
Kenya’s interest in the council will prominently feature in Uhuru’s meetings with the three world leaders after the Cabinet last week endorsed the decision to seek the position.
“Cabinet granted approval for Kenya to vie for a non-permanent membership of the UNSC for two years (2021-2022) at the elections to be held during the 74th session of the UN in 2020,” read the communication from the Cabinet Office.
The country’s membership will test its influence in decision-making, particularly as far as peace and security is concerned.
The UN Security Council has 15 members. Five – China, France, Russian Federation, UK and US – are permanent and 10 are non-permanent and are elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
South Africa became a charter member of the United Nations on 7 November 1945 and was one of the original 51 founding members world body.
Kenya’s candidature is given impetuous by its commitment to fighting terror. More than 20,000 top global suspects have either been killed or arrested by the Kenya Defence Forces and the anti-terror squad.
The discussions will also centre on trade, security and infrastructure as the President continues to cement his relationship with the West after he criticised the way the International Criminal Court handled the Kenyan cases.
The President’s Big Four agenda will also be discussed as Uhuru’s administration seeks to improve Kenya’s status as an economic hub in Africa.
The Standard has reliably learnt that US, UK and China recognise the importance of Kenya as a strategic partner in African, emphasising the need to engage the country more on issues affecting the region.
“Kenya has positioned itself as a developing country that is embracing democracy. It has also been engaged in peacekeeping missions in the region despite financial constraints,” said a top Government official who did not wish to be named.
He added: “Kenyans have become soft targets in the war on terror but the Government resolve has ensured peace and stability in the region. President Kenyatta has been instrumental in the security crisis in Somalia and bringing arch rivals South Sudan Salva Kiir and Riek Machar together after years of war by their camps.”
State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said President Uhuru and his host, Donald Trump, would discuss bilateral relationships between the two countries and plans to boost several sectors including security, trade and investment.
A statement from the White House said “Kenya is a vital partner of the United States and President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to broaden the strategic partnership based on our shared democratic values and mutual interests.”
Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma termed the meetings avenues of “positioning Kenya globally