Extravagance: Kenya hosts at least 15 UN and AU diplomats in Nairobi in its UNSC seat campaign

Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau welcomes a group of Permanent Representatives to New York and Addis Ababa for a Seminar on the Changing Face of Terrorism and Extremism. Amb Lazarus Amayo Kenya PR to New York and Amb Catherine Mwangi PR Addis  Ababa are leading the teams/ MFA

Kenya is for the second time hosting international diplomats in Mombasa in its lobbying for the UNSC non-permanent seat for the 20221-22 period, raising questions about the amount used in the campaign.

Like in the first batch in January, the diplomats are based in New York, but the second batch has an addition of envoys drawn from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the heart of African diplomacy.

The 15 envoys are scheduled to attend a seminar on the war on terrorism and extremism, which is one of Kenya’s 10-point agenda at the UNSC in its campaign.

Others are building bridges, peacekeeping and support operations, regional peace and security, and women peace and security, youth empowerment, humanitarian action, justice, human rights and democracy, environment and climate change agenda and sustainable development goals agenda.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday tweeted,” @ForeignOfficeKE PS @AmbMKamau welcoming to Nairobi a group of Permanent Representatives to #NewYork and #AddisAbaba attending a Seminar on the Changing Face of Terrorism and Extremism. Amb Lazarus Amayo Kenya PR to New York and Amb Catherine Mwangi PR Addis are leading the teams.”

Notably, the addition of Addis Ababa-based diplomats comes shortly after the launch of the Group of Friends of UN-AU Partnership, on February 7 in New York. A Swedish diplomat said, “We need a strong AU-UN partnership to strengthen multilaterism cooperation and the rules-based order.”

The diplomats arrived on Saturday and were received by Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau.

They were hosted for dinner at Carnivore Restaurant, taken for a game drive on Monday and flown to Mombasa on Tuesday.

Among the envoys is Jamaican Ambassador to the United Nations is Courtenay Rattray

The earlier batch arrived in the country on January 26, and stayed until January 31.

The meeting was headlined “Seminar on Global Political Trends and Implications for peace and Security In Africa”.

In her presentation, CS Juma focussed on the UNSC challenges to international peace and security.

Other than their seminar and excursion in Mombasa, the diplomats were brought to Nairobi for a meeting at UN Office in Nairobi and a visit to Nairobi National Park and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Hungary’s UN Ambassador and President of International Association of UN Permanent Representatives Katalin Bogyay at the time said she had an interesting discussion in Nairobi with PS Kamau on the Building Bridges Initiative, another key agenda in Kenya’s campaign.

The other ambassadors who visited included Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to UN Louse Blais, and PR of Montenegro in UN, New York Milica Pejanovic and representatives from Liberia, South Africa and Grenada Missions in UN.

The envoys met Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, and discussed the blue economy and fight against radicalisation, and International Peace Support School director Brigadier Rahid A. Elmi

The school offers training on peace operations —conflict prevention and management, and post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery.

“The IPSTC is contributing to a relevant regional and global agenda to address the spectrum of peace operations that are increasingly becoming complex,” the Ministry said.

Kenya, Africa Union’s endorsed candidate, is targeting at least 129 votes out of 193 member states, which has been complicated by Djibouti’s insistence to remain in the race.

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