Thursday, July 18, 2024

Malawi’s Prof. Kanyongolo & Sibande Secure Seats on UN Convention Committees


Two distinguished lawyers from Malawi, Professor Edge Kanyongolo and Chrispine Gwalawala Sibande, have been elected to serve on separate United Nations (UN) committees dedicated to human rights. These committees, comprised of global experts, convene at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to address complaints from individuals, organizations, and countries, as well as review human rights reports from around the world.

Professor Kanyongolo, a renowned retired law lecturer from the University of Malawi, was elected as a member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) on June 12, 2023, during the seventh Meeting of States parties held in New York, USA. His victory came after surpassing candidates from Iraq and Burkina Faso. He will join four other newly elected members from France, Germany, Peru, and Senegal, replacing outgoing members whose terms end on June 30, 2023.

Similarly, Chrispine Gwalawala Sibande, an experienced human rights lawyer, was elected on June 22, 2023, to serve as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). His election garnered 121 votes from the 181 member countries present, surpassing competitors from Peru, Burkina Faso, Iran, and Sudan. The CERD committee comprises representatives from Greece, Senegal, China, South Africa, Jamaica, Morocco, Liberia, and Mauritania.

In reaction, Sibande stated that his election is an honor for Malawi, as one of their own will contribute to the UN’s expert panel. The Malawi Law Society (MLS) also congratulated both lawyers on their remarkable global achievements.

MLS honorary secretary Gabriel Chembezi said in an interview: “These are positives that we must build on to improve the administration of justice for all in the country. This is the trajectory MLS is taking and focusing on.”

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