866 United Nations Plaza, Room 304,New York, NY 10017Telephone: (212) 421-4741email: info@kenyaun.org
Return to the Article List Return to the Article List

ENewsletter VOL 1/ ISSUE 1/ 2013: Opening Remarks by H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau

The last two and a half years at the Kenya Mission to the United Nations have been exceptionally exciting and highly rewarding. The nature of the work at the Kenya Mission to the United Nations is not only highly varied and fast moving but exceptionally important.

Sadly most of what we do is not known nor truly understood back home in Kenya or even among the Kenyan diaspora. The nature of the work, it's complexity and it's variety makes it difficult to communicate it to Kenyans and is therefore usually understood mostly by the cognoscenti of multilateral affairs.

Sadly our media, both print and electronic, have yet to evolve the extensive skills needed to process the variety of information and outcomes from UN debates and conferences for public communication and consumption.

Nonetheless, the nature of the work that we deal with, whether it has to do with international security, public health, education, economic development, human rights, women's and children's affairs, the law of the sea or the environment etc, is of seminal importance not only to Kenya or Africa but also to the entire world.

Multilateralism is fascinating. The challenge of dealing with 193 nations, multiple interlocutors, a cluster of international organizations and institutions, can be exceptionally challenging but also enormously satisfying.

It takes exceptional skills and dedication to fully leverage the opportunities for a country like Kenya that exists in a place like the United Nations. The Kenya Mission to the United Nations, despite its small size and limited staff cohort, has proven itself time and again to be up to the task and to have the skills and the dedication to fully engage in the interest of the Kenyan Republic and it's people. Having said this it does remain a real challenge for the mission to continue to play its full role mostly owing to limited human and financial resources.

Over the past twenty-four to thirty-two months the Kenya Mission to the United Nations has engaged in the following critical and internationally important areas of action.

  • A leading role for Africa in the build up to and the participation in the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The outcomes of which will have intergenerational implications for global development in the economic social and environmental sphere. The reform of UNEP and UN habitat including the transformation of the governing council of UNEP into the United Nations Environmental Assembly, a truly historic achievement.
  • The international negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty that was completed and brought up for signature, Kenya was a Co-author. A leading role in UN children’s fund (UNICEF) as the Vice President of the UNICEF Board, a leading role in South South Corporation as the President.
  • A leading role as President of the International Conference on People Living with Disabilities. A key role as Member of the Working Group of Assembly of State Party to the International Criminal Court and it's related work. A leading African country in the United Nations Security Council Reform Process as a Member of the Committee of 10 Countries charged with UNSC reform responsibilities and successfully negotiated and appointed to take up the leadership and Presidency of United Nations Forest Fund.
  • The Mission has also led negotiations on a number of important resolutions including resolutions on the International Conference on Population and Development, ICPD and resolutions on humanitarian affairs. Played a leadership role in negotiating the United Nations Peacekeeping Budget for two years in a row as well as being Africa's Representative on the Senior Advisory Group Strategic Committee dealing with Peacekeeping Reform.
  • The Mission has also been given important responsibilities, where the Ambassador has been elected as the Vice President of the General Assembly and most recently as the Co-chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development of the General Assembly, the most important follow up action on the platform of the Rio+20 Conference.

These are just some of the important and internationally highly regarded actions and leadership positions that the Mission has taken on and that I as Ambassador have provided leadership in.

I am proud of my country's ability to provide us with the wherewithal and the trust to take on these internationally important responsibilities. I am equally proud of the team that I have, small as it is, and its ability to respond to the challenges and the global responsibilities that have been placed on it by our success and the recognition of our peers.

Ambassador Macharia Kamau
Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Kenya Mission to the United Nations – New York

Previous Assignment

Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary and Permanent Representative to United Nations Office Nairobi.

Triple Accreditation

  • Kenya Permanent Mission to United Nations Office Nairobi
  • Kenya Permanent Mission to United Nations Environment Programme
  • Kenya Permanent Mission to United Nations HABITAT

In addition to his diplomatic assignments, Ambassador Macharia Kamau was International Consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations AIDS. He has vast experience at the United Nations where he served for over twenty five years mostly in senior management positions at the UNDP, UNICEF and UNTAG. During this period, he was deployed in various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as the Caribbean.


To be a leader in pursuit of Kenya’s interests within the multilateral framework of the United Nations.


To project, promote and protect the interests and values of the Kenyan people through effective diplomatic engagement.

Post your comment

You must be registered to post comments.

Login or register for an account so you can leave your feedback.

No comments found!

Why not be the first to add a comment?