The Star (Kenya)

Kenya seeks to boost influence in UN council

A3 plays a critical role in shaping security debates

- PATRICK VIDIJA

Kenya is pushing to boost its influence at the UN Security Council.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to chair a series of meetings in which Tunisia, Niger and Kenya (A3 ) seek to increase their roles in the UNSC. This comes as Kenya is scheduled to take over the rotational chairmansh­ip of the African Union Peace and Security Council for the month of March 2021.

The Peace and Security Council is the decision-making organ of the AU on prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. The collective security and early warning arrangemen­t is intended to facilitate timely and efficient responses to conflict and crises in Africa.

Kenya, as the incoming chair, plans a series of activities, including reinvigora­ting the role of the A3 in the UN Security Council. Other activities include an open session on women, peace, culture and gender inclusivit­y in Africa and a field visit to South Sudan.

“In realising the above, Kenya will be working together with like-minded states to promote peace, security, sovereignt­y and territoria­l integrity; strengthen its engagement and diplomatic representa­tion; and project its image internatio­nally, especially through a multilater­al system,” reads the draft.

Nairobi argues that Africa is numericall­y significan­t at the UNSC. It said that in 2018, over 50 per cent of UNSC meetings, 60 per cent of its outcome documents, and 70 per cent of its resolution­s concerned African peace and security issues.

“African states comprise nearly 28 per cent of the UN’S overall membership, providing significan­t regional political backing to the A3. The synergy and coordinati­on, the A3 has recorded significan­t achievemen­t,” reads the draft.

“The A3 bloc plays a critical role in shaping Security Council debates, breaking geopolitic­al deadlock, and guiding the Council’s collective action. African unity is essential towards achieving these efforts.”

Nairobi said the A3 members can show such unity through a range of approaches like issuing joint statements to the Council, defining joint negotiatin­g positions for Council outcome documents, and convening joint press stakeouts to deliver key messages to the general public.

“The role played by the AU permanent observer mission to the UN is of particular importance, as it can help to coordinate A3 and AU engagement­s, facilitate regular interactio­ns with diplomats and officials in Addis Ababa, and retain institutio­nal memory of both the AU and the UN,” the draft reads.

“Unified A3 positions on African files are strengthen­ed particular­ly when informed by decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council, as they provide legitimacy, credibilit­y, and leverage in A3 engagement­s with other Council members.

“Even though each A3 member on its own has limited influence in the UN Security Council, a unified A3 bloc particular­ly when backed by positions endorsed by the wider membership of the AU is able to strongly influence Council outcomes.”

The meeting will deliberate on ways of building on the success of the unity of A3 and enhance its work. This includes Kenya’s increased influence, enhanced consensus in A3 and greater collaborat­ion with the sixth region (the Caribbean’s) in matters pertaining to climate change and Covid-19.

The activities are expected to run from March 4 to March 30 when the Peace and Security Council will visit South Sudan to monitor the progress made by the government in relation to the revitalise­d Peace Agreement.

According to the draft, President Uhuru Kenyatta will chair a headsof-state meeting, with a focus on climate change, emerging trends of terrorism, effects of climate change on terrorism and their role in securing sustainabl­e peace. With a focus on South Sudan, the meeting is expected to provide an update on its overall political situation.

 ?? /FILE ?? President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official opening of the AU Extraordin­ary Summit on Maritime Security, Safety and Developmen­t in Africa, in Lome
/FILE President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official opening of the AU Extraordin­ary Summit on Maritime Security, Safety and Developmen­t in Africa, in Lome

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