Kenya’s Phoebe Okowa in historic election to UN law commission

Kenya’s nominee for the International Law Commission seat Professor Phoebe Okowa has made history by becoming the first woman from Africa to be elected to sit on the United Nations body.

She is also one of the few women to become members of the International Law Commission.

Prof Okowa garnered 162 votes on Friday in an election by the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States. She will serve for five years from 2023 to 2027.

The International Law Commission is made up of 34 individuals recognized for their expertise and qualifications in international law, who are elected every five years.

In her acceptance speech, Prof Okowa thanked the member states for having confidence in her.

“I am pleased beyond words and both honoured and humbled in equal measure to have been elected today to the United Nations International Law Commission for the term 2023-2027. I am profoundly grateful to member states for their confidence in me. Prof Okowa, a professor of public international law at Queen Mary University in London has been a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague” she said.

“I look forward to working with the other members of the commission and those on the sixth committee as the commission continues its vital work in responding to the defining challenges of our generation” she added.


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