Kenya has trounced Djibouti to clinch the United Nations Security Council seat in a highly competitive poll today.
Kenya secured the nonpermanent seat after garnering 129 votes against Djibouti’s 62 in the second round of voting after felling short of the required threshold yesterday.
Voting was conducted on a single ballot in New York.
In the Wednesday poll, Kenya managed 113 votes with Djibouti getting 78 forcing a runoff.
To be declared winner, a member has to get the support of two-thirds of the 193 UN member states. This means at least 128 votes.
Kenyan diplomats and President Uhuru Kenyatta had to do a lot of lobbying to secure today’s victory.
The leaders called on the UN member countries to stand with Kenya citing the country’s role in promoting peace in neighbouring countries Sudan and Somalia.
Kenya will now be taking over from South Africa, the current holder of the position.
This is the third time Kenya will be servicing in the position having sat in the council in th1973-1974 and 1997-1998. Djibouti has only served once, 1993-1994.
Kenya was last year endorsed by the African Union (AU) for the seat but Djibouti which lost the elections withdrew its earlier position that it would concede defeat.
But why is the seat so important to Kenya?
The UN Security Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security in the world.
The council enjoys robust powers including the imposition of sanctions and authorisation of military action when international peace is threatened.
The Security Council has 10 non-permanent members in addition to the veto-wielding Big Five — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway secured the four other non-permanent member seats in the yesterday poll.