The 20th ordinary summit of heads of state of the East African Community (EAC) has endorsed Kenya's candidature for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
A communique released at the end of the one-day summit in Arusha, Tanzania, on Friday night said Kenya's membership to the highest UN organ will run for two years beginning in 2021.
Kenya is set to launch its campaign for the non-permanent membership slot in the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term in June this year.
Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said last year Kenya was already lobbying for an endorsement from its peers in the African Union (AU) and the region ahead of the campaign.
Juma said the scope of the campaign will be determined by the number of countries contesting in the election set to be held during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2019.
At the same time, the summit called on the EAC Council of Ministers to speed up the making of the constitution of the political confederation of the regional bloc, said the communique.
The summit pushed for the making of the constitution after it had received a report the EAC Council of Ministers, it added.
The report said all EAC member states of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan had nominated constitutional experts to work on the constitution of the political confederation.
"The summit directed the Council to cause the experts to provide a preliminary report within seven months," said the communique seen by Xinhua.
The communique added that the summit decided that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who handed over the EAC chairmanship to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, should provide political guidance to the making of the constitution.
The summit also received a progress report that the verification exercise for the admission of Somalia into the EAC had not been undertaken, said the communique.
The communique said the summit directed the EAC Council of Ministers to follow up the matter and report to the 21st EAC ordinary summit.
Meanwhile, the summit received a report on the financial status of the EAC and directed member states to fulfill their financial obligations to the community in a timely manner.
The summit was attended by Presidents John Magufuli of Tanzania, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi was represented by First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan was represented by his Minister for Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, Paul Moyom Akec.