Star - BY OLIVER MATHENGE -Kenya is quietly lobbying for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed to become the next UN Secretary- General and the first woman to be the world's top diplomat.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon from South Korea leaves office in December 2016.
Recruitment and selection of the ninth SG is to begin in the middle of next year, and the Kenyan government has not stated its preference.
However, government and diplomatic sources tell the Star Kenya lans to endorse 53-year-old Mohammed, a lawyer, diplomat and politician.
She previously was chairwoman of the International Organisation for Migration and the World Trade Organisation's General Council. She served as Assistant UN Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. She was appointed to the Kenyan Cabinet in May 2013.
Through her leadership, Kenya secured rights to host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July, the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in December and Tokyo International Conference on African Development in 2016.
Kofi Annan from Ghana served from 1997-2006 in the top job that unofficially rotates among regions. If Mohammed is chosen, that would mean two diplomats from Sub-Saharan Africa in 10 years.
"Moon has already made a public declaration that member states should consider giving the post to a woman. A lot of people believe that with her current position and experience in the UN system, Amina is a very good candidate," one source told the Star.
In several public appearances this year, Moon has said "it's high time for a Secretary General to be a woman."
"It is a tough bargain but we believe Amina is among the world's top women diplomats and we want to see if the government will endorse her," a Western diplomatic source said.
If a woman is chosen, another strong candidate would be Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current head of UNDP.
The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the five-member Security Council, comprised of Britain, China, France, Russia and the US.
The Big Five must agree and anycan veto a candidate. The SG cannot come from one of the five.
Candidates’ names are submitted to the Security Council that holds closed consultations before recommending one candidate to the General Assembly. A simple majority is required.
There is an understanding the SG's job rotates among regions.
This means it's Eastern Europe's 'turn', however, Western governments are uncomfortable with Russia's influence.