Ambassador Macharia Kamau
Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Kenya Mission to the United Nations – New York
Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary and Permanent Representative to United Nations Office Nairobi.
- 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.
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.