Kenya pledges active role to advance peace, security in Africa

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 27: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks duirng a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House August 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Monday his country will leverage its position as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to advance peace, stability and inclusive growth in Africa.

Kenyatta said that Kenya has been deeply involved in preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction across Africa.

“Central to our foreign policy as a nation and member state of the African Union, is our commitment to Pan-Africanism,” Kenyatta said in a speech read on his behalf by Eugene Wamalwa, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Defence during a regional forum organized by the African Union.

The 12th AU high-level retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability is being attended by senior government officials including diplomats and former African leaders.

Kenya is one of the three African countries that are non-permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council in 2021/2022.

“We accept this high calling with gratitude and a deep sense of purpose, as demonstrated by our UNSC Presidency in October 2021,” Kenyatta added.

The Kenyan leader said that Africa has made considerable progress in addressing traditional peace and security challenges.

“The African Peace and Security Architecture has contributed immensely to the promotion of peace, security, and stability on our continent,” Kenyatta observed.

He revealed that Africa’s collective efforts to embrace and promote democratic practices have led to resilience, greater stability, good governance, respect for human rights, as well as political and social inclusion across the continent.

The president noted that Kenya is currently hosting over 600,000 refugees from across the region.

He explained that at the height of the conflicts in some neighboring countries, especially in the early 1990s, Kenya was receiving 3,000 refugees every hour,” he said.

“It was and continues to be a difficult task, but we continue to offer a haven for our brothers and sisters who are unable to return home, owing to serious and indiscriminate threats to life,” Kenyatta said.

He added that multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional zero-sum politics.

“Instruments of collective action are being incapacitated, while those of collective accountability are increasingly being misused to serve selfish interests,” Kenyatta noted.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission said that solidarity is key to finding a durable solution to the threat to peace, stability and economic growth in Africa.

Mahamat stressed that dialogue and mediation, as opposed to military intervention, could be the answer to civil strife that has undermined Africa’s quest for transformation