The role of Kenya Mission to the United Nations is to effectively represent Kenya at the diplomatic apex of interactions in the global community of nations. The United Nations Headquarters in New York is the "Jewel in the Crown" of diplomacy. The staff at the Mission are, therefore, the most competent and most motivated possible. They are calculating, skilled and patient. The multilateral character of the Kenya Mission in New York poses very unique diplomatic challenges unlike those faced by bilateral Missions. All States in the world with their diverse ideological, cultural, political and strategic characteristics intermingle in the halls of negotiations, in the corridors and in receptions. It is a setting which tests diplomatic skills to the limit.
Kenya became a Member of the United Nations hours after attaining independence in December 1963. It was a giant step in the exercise of independence and sovereignty in the arena of community of nations. It was a prestigious and a practical step.
United Nations was created in 1945 immediately after the Second World War "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war", and to guarantee peace and security to all.
Kenya has discharged her obligations at the United Nations with an efficiency which has earned her great admiration. She has not only scrupulously adhered to and upheld the principles enshrined in the Charter of the organization but she has also contributed tremendously in the furtherance of shared goals. An example is Kenya's immense contribution in the United Nations Peace-Keeping Operations over the years, in many parts of the world.
The passage of time since 1945 has witnessed many transformations globally. The political, economic, social, military and strategic planes have seen tremendous changes. As a result, the United Nations has had to adjust to face the challenges emerging.
Organs, Agencies and Programmes of the United Nations take on an ever-expanding agenda shaped by fresh and changing challenges in a most complex situation.
As the United Nations evolves, especially with the end of the Cold War and the bi-polar nature of politics and strategic alliances, other forces have come to the fore. Globalization and WTO rounds of negotiations, United Nations Special Sessions and Global Summits have enmeshed States, regions and groups in a most complex web of negotiations which centre around the work of the United Nations and its Subsidiary organs, Agencies and Programmes. Enmeshed in all these are Members of:
Group of 77 and China
The African Group at the Untied Nations
The Non-Aligned Movement
The European Union
The Asian Group
The Latin and Caribbean Group, etc.
There are also six (6) Standing Committees of the United Nations charged with issues of Security and Disarmament; Economic and Finance; Social and Humanitarian; Decolonization; Budgetary and Legal Matters.
The background negotiations which later transform themselves into formal negotiations, resolutions and programmes of action are as a result of negotiations by all these. The Kenya Mission ensures that the interests of Kenya as enshrined in the national goals are protected and furthered in all these negotiations.
As would be expected, therefore, the Kenya Mission works very closely with the Head office on positions of issues and key policy matters. From time to time, the Ministers and the Head of State address the United Nations either in Special Sessions or during the General Assembly.
At all other times, the Ambassador/Permanent Representative is in-charge of all activities giving guidance to his members of staff in their assignments.
The placing of Kenya in important Committees is another prerogative. Over the years, Kenya has been very proud to join the privileged group of States in the Security Council as a temporary member periodically.
While in 1963, Africa and other African sister States championed the cause of decolonization and the abolition of apartheid, the new century has witnessed a qualitative shift towards new challenges. The Millenium Summit in 2000 identified special needs of Africa, which the African Union born in July 2002 and the NEPAD, have put in proper perspective and added to them. Africa is ready to embrace democracy and prosperity and the Kenya Mission in the United Nations in the centre of efforts in the realization of this dream. It is a fresh dispensation.