Nicholas Kay

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Nicholas Kay
United Nations Special Representative for Somalia
Assumed office
3 June 2013
Appointed by Ban Ki-moon
Preceded by Augustine Mahiga
Africa Director at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
In office
United Kingdom Ambassador to Sudan
In office
United Kingdom Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo
In office
Personal details
Born 1958
Nationality British
Children 3
Residence Mogadishu, Somalia

Nicholas Kay (born 1958) is a British diplomat. As of 2013, he serves as the UN Special Representative for Somalia, working closely with the Somali government on local affairs.


Personal life[edit]

Kay was born in 1958.[1]

He is married, and has a son and two daughters.[1]

Early career[edit]

In a professional capacity, Kay served as the United Kingdom's Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007.[1]

He later acted as the British Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2012, Kay was also the British Ambassador to Sudan.[1]

Additionally, Kay worked as the Africa Director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 2012 and 2013.[1]

UN Special Representative[edit]


On 29 April 2013, Kay was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the new UN Special Representative for Somalia. He officially replaced Augustine Mahiga at the position on 3 June 2013.[1]

Vote of confidence[edit]

In December 2013, following a parliamentary vote of confidence, Kay paid tribute to the outgoing Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, noting that Shirdon had endeavoured to promote growth and progress and was an important principal in establishing the New Deal Compact between Somalia and its international partners. He also commended the legislators on adhering to procedural rules during the vote, and pledged to work constructively with the succeeding administration.[2] Following the appointment of Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed as the new Premier, Kay congratulated Ahmed on his appointment and pledged to continue supporting the Federal Government's peace and state-building efforts.[3]

Somalia-UN cooperative agreement[edit]

On 26 February 2014, Kay and Somalia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdirahman Duale Beyle signed a bilateral agreement outlining the terms of future cooperation between the United Nations and the Somali federal government. According to Beyle, the pact came after extensive consultations between both parties. Along with attorneys, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended the signing of the agreement, which he commended for helping to strengthen cooperation between the Somali authorities and the UN.[4]

Jubaland agreement[edit]

In August 2013, the autonomous Jubaland administration signed a national reconciliation agreement in Addis Ababa with the Somali federal government. Endorsed by the federal State Minister for the Presidency Farah Abdulkadir on behalf of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the pact was brokered by the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia and came after protracted bilateral talks. Under the terms of the agreement, Jubaland will be administered for a two year period by a Juba Interim Administration and led by the region's incumbent president, Ahmed Mohamed Islam. The regional president will serve as the chairperson of a new Executive Council, to which he will appoint three deputies. Management of Kismayo's seaport and airport will also be transferred to the Federal Government after a period of six months, and revenues and resources generated from these infrastructures will be earmarked for Jubaland's service delivery and security sectors as well as local institutional development. Additionally, the agreement includes the integration of Jubaland's military forces under the central command of the Somali National Army (SNA), and stipulates that the Juba Interim Administration will command the regional police.[5][6] UN Special Envoy to Somalia Ambassador Kay hailed the pact as "a breakthrough that unlocks the door for a better future for Somalia,"[7] with AUC, UN, EU and IGAD representatives also present at the signing.[6]

Garowe bilateral agreement[edit]

In October 2014, Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed led a federal government delegation to the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia. The delegates included Second Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mahad Abdalle Awad and Minister of Education Ahmed Mohamed Gurase, among other Cabinet members. They were received at the Garowe International Airport by senior Puntland leaders, including President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar, and subsequently attended a well-organized welcoming ceremony at the Puntland presidential palace in Garowe alongside Ambassador Kay and various other members of the international community. Ahmed subsequently co-chaired a reconciliation conference in the city between the visiting federal officials and Puntland representatives led by President Ali.[8][9]

The three-day meeting concluded with a 12-point agreement between the stakeholders, with UN envoy to Somalia Ambassador Kay, EU Ambassador Michele Cervone d'Urso, IGAD representative Mohamed Abdi Afey, and Ethiopian Consul General Asmalash Woldamirat serving as witnesses. According to federal Minister of Culture and Higher Education Duale Adan Mohamed, the pact stipulates that the recent tripartite agreement between Galmudug and Himan and Heeb establishing a new central regional state within Somalia only applies to the Galguduud and south Mudug provinces. In keeping with a 2013 pact signed by former Prime Minister of Somalia Abdi Farah Shirdon and former Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, the Garowe bilateral agreement also states that the Federal and Puntland authorities will work together to form a united and inclusive national army. Additionally, parliamentary committees consisting of Federal and Puntland representatives are mandated with ensuring equitable distribution of foreign assistance and overseeing eventual talks pertaining to the Provisional Constitution. Ambassador Kay welcomed the agreement and urged both parties to work for the public interest, and IGAD representative Afey likewise hailed the reconciliation effort.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Secretary-General Appoints Nicholas Kay of United Kingdom as Special Representative for Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "SOMALIA: Nicholas Kay paid tribute today to Somalia’s outgoing Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid". Raxanreeb. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Somalia: UN envoy welcomes appointment of new prime minister". UN News Center. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Somalia, UN sign agreement to strengthen co-operation". Sabahi. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Somalia: Jubaland gains recognition after intense bilateral talks in Ethiopia". Garowe Online. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Wendoson, Abera. "Somalia gives recognition to Jubaland interim administration". Ethiopian Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Sisay, Andualem (29 August 2013). "Somali government and Jubaland strike a peace deal". Africa Review. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "SOMALIA: Prime Minister Abdiweli Shiekh Ahmed in Garowe in the second day". Raxanreeb. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Somalia: Puntland clinches deal with Federal Govt". Garowe Online. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.