The African Group

Message from the Chair

The Member States in the United Nations General Assembly are divided into various geographical groupings. These are the groupings through which elections are conducted into various UN bodies and agencies.

 

Africa is allocated 3 non-permanent members of the Security Council, 14 members on ECOSOC, 13 Members on the Human Rights Council and the President of the General Assembly in years ending 4 and 9. 

 

The Africa Group at the United Nations is made up of the 54 African Union Member States at the United Nations. The bloc coordinates its efforts on various topics, ranging from health and migration to issues of peace and security.

 

The group hold regular meetings to receive briefings from guests and UN officials and discuss on UN resolutions and topics so a common African position can be reached. 

 

The group is chaired by an Ambassador from a Member State, with the position rotating monthly. The African Union Observer Mission serves as a coordinating secretariat for the group by arranging meetings, supporting the Chair, and generally providing logistical and administrative assistance where necessary. 

 

 

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It is an honour to serve as the incoming Chair of the African Group of Permanent Representatives to the United Nations for the month of January 2022.

I will sustain the efforts undertaken by Ambassador Aly Diane of Guinea who chaired the group in November and December. I want to thank Aly for the hard work and spirit of collaboration that he brought to the chairmanship during his tenure.

In the different committees, Kenya will consult comprehensively to develop and deliver African Group statements that are cogent, action-oriented and reflect the needs of Africa for development, security, a fair and effective multilateralism, and the protection of our sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.

I look forward to working with the AU Observer Mission, in its role as the coordinating secretariat for the Group, and in particular with Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed.

In terms of our working priorities, we believe in continuity of effort and so shall be undertaking to sustain, and where possible strengthen the ongoing processes.

We will work with Committee experts to advance the African Group’s engagement in the recently concluded main session of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

I will also make every effort to work with the African Group’s Ad Hoc Working Group on the SG’s ‘Our Common Agenda’ to ensure Africa’s position is clearly and powerfully articulated in time for the consultative meetings at the GA Plenary planned for February.

The specific priorities I hope to pursue as Chair are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic as New York City, and the world at large, deals with the aggressive spread of the Omicron variant.

We hope to enable members to highlight the policy and operational successes that their countries have registered in responding to the pandemic. This we hope will allow us to learn from each other’s strengths and innovations, and to be able to show the world that the continent’s response contains important and positive lessons.

We will also point out whenever necessary, and we hope this does not come to pass, any unscientific and discriminatory travel bans enacted as responses to the pandemic. Countries taking such steps will be sure to hear strong opposition from the Chair and the Group.

The global response to the pandemic has revealed that multilateralism continues to be dogged by unfairness, double standards, and unacceptable hierarchies between countries and regions. We hope to use every opportunity to renew multilateralism so that it is fit for purpose in taking on increasingly global challenges.

I look forward to taking every opportunity to strengthen Africa’s relationship with the AU’s Sixth region. In particular, we will cooperate towards common goals with CARICOM and delegations from the Caribbean.

Kenya as the coordinator of the African countries in the Security Council (including Gambia and Ghana) for January-April 2022, will continue to advocate for African solutions to peace and security challenges on the continent. We will aim to ensure that the African Group is well informed of the work in the Security Council, and involved whenever possible.

I welcome collaboration and coordination with all other regional groupings; there are many areas of common interest that we can advance together. I will also seek to engage, when appropriate, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council, and the Secretary-General to ensure African interests remain at the top of the UN’s agenda.

Thank you

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H.E Mr Martin Kimani

 

Ambassador, and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations

 

Chair of the African Group of Permanent Representatives at the United Nations  

for the month of January 2022