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Kenya, Djibouti head to a run-off vote for final UNSC seat

Thursday June 18, 2020

Kenya and Djibouti flag waving in the wind against white cloudy blue sky together. Diplomacy concept, international relations. 123RF

Mogadishu (HOL) - Voting for the African seat at the United Nations Security Council will head to a run-off election today after Kenya failed to reach two-thirds of the vote to win outright.

Despite highlighting their humanitarian and peace credentials, Kenya and Djibouti failed to convince the supermajority of 192 delegates at the UN to win a seat.

Nairobi received 113 votes to Djibouti's 78.

The run-off complicates the vote for the powerful 15-member council that is charged with ensuring international peace and security. If neither party can secure the necessary votes to win, or refuse to concede defeat, then they may have to share the seat with a year on the council each.

Nairobi is hoping to ride the support of the African Union to the Security Council. Djibouti is arguing that it should win because Kenya has already served two terms at the Security Council. Kenya says that Djibouti's win would mean that all three African nations representing the continent on the Security Council will be French-speaking, leaving anglophones without a voice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no plenary sessions were preceding the vote.

In addition to five veto-wielding permanent members, ten non-permanent members of the UN Security Council rotate, with every year another five members getting elected.

India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway won their bids for the coveted seat on the United Nations.

Despite spending more than $2 million on the quest for a seat, Canada came up short.

The new members are voted in for two-year terms starting in January 2021.


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