Malami elects as UNIDROIT Chair… unveils action plan


Abuja (Min. of Justice) – The Honourable Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, has been unanimously elected as the Chairman of the 78th session of the General Assembly of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), an international organization that seeks to harmonize international private laws across 63 member countries.

The election which took place at the 78th General Assembly Meeting held on Thursday December 12th, 2019 in Rome, Italy followed the proposal by four countries; South Africa, Egypt, Australia and Spain that the Nigerian AGF be elected to chair the Assembly of the state parties.

The nomination was unanimously supported by the General Assembly of member states including United State of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Canada.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the HAGF on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu and made available to Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry in Abuja on Friday 13th December, 2019.

In his address shortly before the election, the Chair of the General Secretary (2018-2019) and Paul Duhr, noted that the post of Chair of the General Assembly has traditionally rotated among the four geographical regions of UNIDROIT pursuant to the Article 7(7) of the UNIDROIT regulations.

Malami when addressing the Assembly as the newly elected Chair, explained  that Nigeria has been an active participant member of UNIDROIT since 1964. He described Nigeria as a major global commercial player in the African continent, said, the country is “Africa’s largest economy and projected to be among the top 20 economies by 2050.”

HAGF recalled that a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoaka, SAN was elected for a five year term (2008-2013) to the UNIDROIT Governing Council.

He said with Nigeria’s advancement in areas such as telecommunication and e-commerce, the country has taken greater interest in the emerging global legal architecture being developed by UNIDROIT.

As the Chairman, Malami resolved commitment to boosting the activities of UNIDROIT during his tenure as the Chairman and work assiduously towards ensuring the “entry into force of the Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on matters specific to Mining, Agriculture and Construction of Equipment (MAC Protocol) the text of which was recently adopted at the diplomatic conference held in Pretoria, South Africa November, 2019”.

“Following extensive consultations with stakeholders on the future Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts”, the Chair said he hoped to see to the “finalization of the draft text for presentation to and adoption by the Governing Council in May, 2020”.

While maintaining commitment to “entry into force the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, which currently requires only one more Contracting State to enter into force” Malami said, with that Protocol’s entry into force, it will “begin facilitating cross-border and domestic financing of railway rolling stock, thereby generating economic growth, and provide further momentum in attracting more Contracting States to that Protocol.

For the Institutional development, the Chair said he would  work vigorously to ensure the adoption and implementation of UNIDROIT’s Work Programme for the 2020-2022 triennium, which he said has great importance in guiding the use of UNIDROIT’s limited resources and determining its various projects and their respective priorities.

Malami expressed determination to ensure full implementation of the recently adopted compensation and social security reforms, together with possible further improvements to UNIDROIT’s Regulations and its overall administrational framework.

It is on this note that he called on all state parties to work hard in achieving their objectives “The unification of private law is a great task UNIDROIT is saddled with. It, therefore, behooves on this session for all hands to be on deck to ensure issues on the agenda are tackled expeditiously. I have no doubt in this endeavor, I can presume your cooperation and assistance throughout this session,” he said.

It could be recalled that the Minister was at one time President of
International Anti-Corruption Academy and Member International Court of Arbitration.
Modupe Ogundoro
DD (Press & Public Relations)