NAIROBI —The African Union has endorsed Kenya for the UN security council seat after it defeated Djibouti with 37 votes against 13.
Voting had to go for the second round at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In round one Kenya got 34 Djibouti 15, with 2 abstentions.
The continental approval means Kenya becomes Africa’s sole candidate for the race to win the non-permanent seat for 2021-2022.
Kenya, which has campaigned for the seat globally had initially, won the vote on August 5, defeating Djibouti with 33 votes with 16 abstentions.
However, because of the rules of procedure which require that substantial decisions be made on a two-thirds majority rule calculated on the basis of the total 55 member states of the African Union, meant Nairobi had fallen short.
This endorsement could give Nairobi renewed impetus to campaign for a seat they declared they want in 2018.
Traditionally, the AU had often reached these decisions through consensus but Nairobi and Djibouti failed to agree on who should step down.
Dr Monica Juma, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said the vote was a show of confidence for Kenya to represent Africa’s agenda at the UNSC.
“This endorsement is an affirmation that Kenya has remained true to the decisions and aspirations of the African Union and confirms that it is a safe and dependable pair of hands,” Dr Juma said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Kenya commits to the African brothers and sisters, that we shall be a bold voice for Africa and shall be steadfastly promote and defend the African position.”
Djibouti’s Ambassador to the African Union Mohammed Idris Farah said his country conceded defeat and congratulated Nairobi for the victory.
But even with this endorsement from the AU, Kenya must still win at least two thirds votes of the UN member states when the election is held in New York next year in June.