Kenya narrowly won an election for a non-permanent United National Security Council seat on Thursday, in a vote impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.
The elections took place in a sparsely populated General Assembly Hall with strict observation of all coronavirus protocols, including face coverings, staggered voting, and social distancing.
India, Ireland, Mexico, and Norway participated in the event, winning their bids in the first round of voting as nonpermanent members on Wednesday.
What does the UN Security Council Seat victory mean to Kenya?
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) is arguably the world’s most prominent international committee.
The Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (U.N.), charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new U.N. members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.
UNSC is tasked with establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action.
Therefore, Kenya stands to participate more meaningfully in world affairs. The country will enjoy aid payments, which increase in the year that a country is elected to the Security Council, and will remain high throughout the two-year term.
Kenya is set to enjoy increased access to politically salient information, and have no greater access to the U.N. agencies that disburse development aid.
Kenya may be involved in sanctions, authorizing use of force to preserve peace as well as electing judges of the International Court of Justice.
According to the set regulations, five of the ten non-permanent members are typically from Africa and Asia, one is from Eastern Europe, two are from Latin America and the Caribbean, and two are from Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The newly-elected countries will replace exiting council members Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa.
They will join current nonpermanent members Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam, and permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States on January 1, 2021, for a 2-year term.
The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms — so every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.
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