Gerald Minishi Nairobi Kenya
Kenya's Foreign Policy and the UN Security Council Seat
On 18th June this year when Kenya garnered 129 votes to secure a non - permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and outshined Djibouti on a tight contested race, there was a lot of euphoria and optimism especially among Kenyan political elites. Nonetheless, there were some sorts of goodwill from the climate of public opinion. However this is not the first time Kenya has been elected to serve as a non - permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, her recent victory goes down in history as her third time. In retrospect, Kenya first served as a non - permanent member between 1973-1974 with her second time coming in the years between 1997-1998.
Maintaining a low profile in global politics in pursuit of quite diplomacy has been part and parcel of Kenya's Foreign Policy as seconded by Professor John Okumu, Professor Samuel Makinda and Professor John Howell who are experts in Kenya's Foreign Policy. With Kenya's recent victory to represent the continent of Africa at the center of global politics, perhaps it's time for Kenya's policy makers to reassess their foreign policy so as to maintain a high profile in matters International relations. However, it's uncertain whether Kenya will have a more radical stance to global politics and most likely tamper with her policy of non - alignment especially considering the fact that among the 15 members that make up the composition of the United Nations Security Council, only 5 permanent members have considerable influence on decisions of the council, with weapon of veto power bestowed upon them. This has left the other 10 non - permanent members of the United Nations Security Council at the vulnerability of being bossed around by the P5 especially on sensitive matters of national interests. Another point of consideration is in the aspect of voting. Kenya has several allies at the United Nations Security Council such as USA and Britain ; just to name a few. Will Kenya vote on key decisions of the security council under the influence of her allies or will Kenya stand independent and vote on what it believes suits her interests, the interests of Africa and for the common good of all? That's a food for thought.
All said and done, despite all the challenges that comes with her position at the United Nations Security Council, Kenya still holds a chance to gain. Leveraging on multilateralism, championing for global peace and security and lobbying for other key security issues in global politics of the 21st century will not only make Kenya realize her Foreign Policy agenda but also make her the epitome of global consciousness.
Article written by :- Gerald Minishi ( Student of International Relations and Diplomacy with Information Technology at Maseno University).