Kenya takes over Security Council presidency, focuses on vaccine equity
Kenya assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council for October on Friday.
Kenya, elected by the General Assembly in June 2020 for a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Council, alongside India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway, resumed the presidency from Ireland’s 15-nation body.
At the top of the agenda, the focus is on issues of peace and security in the region, arms smuggling, the inequality of Covid-19 vaccines, ethnic identities, climate change and relations between regional blocs.
Kenya’s mandate comes at a time of growing concern about the distribution of vaccines in the world where Africa is least regarded.
Martin Kimani, Kenya’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said Thursday evening that the presidency of the council was a great responsibility, but assured Kenya was up to the task.
Addressed exclusively to KTN News New York crossfire show, he said Kenya would preside over activities in a way that creates consensus and agreement among Council members to resolve security issues affecting the world.
He said there were several countries in the region that were under the jurisdiction of the Security Council’s conflict resolution processes. They include South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The majority of conflict situations dealt with by the Security Council are in Africa and Kenya has made it a priority to protect African lives and do everything possible to ensure peace and security in Africa,” said Kimani.
Kimani said that although the inclusion of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) as part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission was an ongoing debate in the Security Council, Kenya no would not use his position to advance his own national interests.
“We will be guided by the interests of normal peace and security. Kenya’s stakes are not only our immediate national security risks, which are the greatest, but our aim is also to ensure that the world understands that Kenya can stand up and guide world affairs in a way. responsible, responsive, empathetic and efficient, ”he said.
Regarding Covid-19 concerns, Kimani said African countries have come together and trusted the Covax facility which was intended to provide access to vaccines for all countries.
He said that although all countries are signatories, the richer countries have decided to enter into bilateral agreements with drug manufacturers.
“It basically meant that this global facility was being harmed. It was also flouted in relation to the type of contributions and commitments they made but never followed through on African countries that came together to try to create their own funding to buy the vaccines on the open market ” , did he declare.
The World Health Organization (WHO) noted Thursday evening at a press conference that only nine African countries had reached the goal of vaccinating 10% of their population against Covid-19 by the end of September.
Dr Richard Mihigo, WHO’s program coordinator for vaccine development in Africa, said on Thursday that only 4% of Africa’s population was fully vaccinated. Kenya has vaccinated less than three percent of its population.
The countries hold the presidency of the Council for one month with a rotation established in alphabetical order of the name of the country in English. This is Kenya’s only presidency as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during its tenure from 2021 to 2022.
At the Security Council, the United Nations body that maintains international peace and security, President Uhuru Kenyatta will chair events on how to appreciate the diversity, impact of illicit small arms and light weapons on operations peacekeeping, and better support and promotion of women peacekeepers and peacekeepers. builders.