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Kenya and The United Nations

Macharia Kamau (right), new Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations, presents his credentials to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Date: 16 December 2010 H.E. Amb.Z. D. Muburi-Muita (left), the new Permanent Representative of the Republic
of Kenya to the United Nations, presents his credentials to Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, at UN Headquarters in New York. Date: 11 September 2006 Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) shakes hands with H.E. Prof. Judith M. Bahemuka Ambassador Ochieng Adala & Ms Valerie Yankey discuss the report

Kenya became a Member of the United Nations after attaining independence in December 1963. It was a giant step in the exercise of independence and sovereignty in the arena of the community of nations.

The role of Kenya Mission to the United Nations is to effectively represent Kenya at the diplomatic apex of interactions in the global community of nations. The multilateral character of the Kenya Mission in New York poses very unique diplomatic challenges. All States in the world with their diverse ideological, cultural, political and strategic characteristics intermingle in the halls of negotiations, in the corridors and in receptions. It is a setting which tests diplomatic skills to the limit.

Kenya mission to the United Nations has and continue to discharge her obligations at the United Nations with an efficiency which has earned her great admiration. The country has not only adhered to and upheld the principles enshrined in the Charter of the organization but has also contributed tremendously in the furtherance of shared goals.

The passage of time since 1945 has witnessed many transformations globally. The political, economic, social, military and strategic spheres have seen tremendous changes. As a result, the United Nations has had to adjust to face the emerging challenges. Organs, Agencies and Programmes of the United Nations take on an ever-expanding agenda shaped by fresh and changing challenges in a most complex situation. Kenya has a special place within the United Nations as it is the only developing country hosting two United Nations programmes. As the United Nations evolves, especially with the end of the Cold War and the bi-polar nature of politics and strategic alliances, other forces have come to the fore. Globalization and WTO rounds of negotiations, United Nations Special Sessions and Global Summits have enmeshed States, regions and groups in a most complex web of negotiations which focus on the work of the United Nations and its Subsidiary organs, Agencies and Programmes.

There are also six (6) Standing Committees of the United Nations charged with issues of Security and Disarmament; Economic and Finance; Social and Humanitarian; Decolonization and special political; Budgetary and administrative Legal Matters.

The background negotiations which later transform themselves into formal negotiations, resolutions and programmes of action are as a result of negotiations undertaken by all these committees. The Kenya Mission ensures that the interests of Kenya as enshrined in the national goals and the country’s foreign policy are protected and furthered in all these negotiations. the Kenya Mission works very closely with the government ministries and departments on positions regarding key issues and policy matters. From time to time, the Ministers and the Head of State address the United Nations either in Special Sessions or during the General Assembly.

At all other times, the Ambassador/Permanent Representative is in-charge of all activities giving guidance to the staff as they undertake their duties and responsibilities.

The placing of Kenya in important Committees is another prerogative. Over the years, Kenya has been very proud to join the privileged group of States in the Security Council as a temporary member periodically. Kenya has been a member of committees and commissions including statistics, population and development, programme coordination, ECOSOC and many others at different times.

While in 1963, African countries championed the cause of decolonization and the abolition of apartheid, the 21st century has witnessed a emergence of new challenges. The Millennium Summit in 2000 identified special needs of Africa, which the African Union through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), has put in proper perspective. Through the African Union, NEPAD and other continental frameworks, Africa has demonstrated its readiness to embrace democracy, prosperity and contribute to the ideals of the United Nations. The Kenya Mission to the United Nations is at the center of efforts in the realization of this dream through national, sub regional and regional arrangements. Kenya is committed to the noble course of the United Nations. The country is fully engaged in follow-up, discussions and implementation of the outcome of major United Nations conferences and summits, including internationally agreed development goals including Millennium Development goals.