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UNITED NATIONS, June 18. 2020 – Kenya has trounced Djibouti to clinch the United Nations Security Council seat in a second-round of voting by the 193-member General Assembly after an initial ballot failed to produce a clear winner.

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Mexico, India, Ireland, Norway – who were elected on Wednesday – and Kenya will take up their two-year terms on the 15-member council on Jan. 1, 2021. Mexico and India were elected unopposed, while Ireland and Norway beat Canada.

Kenya secured the nonpermanent UN Security Council seat after garnering 129 votes against Djibouti’s 62 in the second round of voting after a felling shot of the required threshold yesterday.

In the yesterday poll, Kenya managed 113 votes with Djibouti getting 78 forcing a runoff.

To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups. All candidates need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the General Assembly to be elected. This means at least 128 votes. Neither Kenya nor Djibouti achieved that during the first round of voting.

Kenya was last year endorsed by the African Union (AU) for the United Nations Security Council seat but Djibouti which lost the elections withdrew its earlier position that it would concede defeat.

After operating virtually since March amid the coronavirus pandemic, diplomats – wearing masks and social distancing – returned to the United Nations General Assembly hall on Wednesday and Thursday to cast their secret ballots at allotted times.

The United Nations Security Council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorizing the use of force. It has five permanent veto-wielding members – the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia.

The United Nations Security Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.

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