As The New Permanent Representative Of Sierra Leone To The United Nations Presents Credentials, The United Nation Secretary General Extols Sierra Leone As An African Example Of Democratic Values

His Excellency Dr. Michael Imran Kanu, the newly appointed Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, today presented his credentials to the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency, Antonio Guterres.

Ambassador Kanu is the 23rd Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and the youngest to serve in that capacity since the country joined the United Nations in 1961.

Ambassador Dr. Kanu in the ceremony conveyed the warm greetings from His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and the People of Sierra Leone to the UN Secretary-General.

Ambassador Kanu importantly noted that “Sierra Leone and the United Nation share an enduring relationship. A partnership that has seen the consolidation of peace, democratic governance, and the pursuit of sustainable development in Sierra Leone; and an active voice at the United Nations as it carries out its important mandate of maintaining international peace and security, promoting, and protecting fundamental human rights and cooperating to achieve sustainable development”.

Ambassador Dr. Kanu submitted his credentials inspired by the need to maintain and strengthen enduring relationship between Sierra Leone and the United Nations.

The Secretary-General of the UN responded by stating that “Sierra Leone is a very important and reliable partner of the United Nations, very committed to multilateralism and a symbol in the African continent of not only democratic values but also strong commitment to our common objectives, peace and security, sustainable development, climate action and human rights”.  He further stated that the presence of Ambassador Dr. Kanu is the guarantee that the cooperation between the United Nations and Sierra Leone, which is already excellent, will become even more deeper and effective. The UN Secretary-General asked that Ambassador Dr. Kanu conveys to His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, his very warm regards.

Ambassador Dr. Kanu, expected to lead the Mission of Sierra Leone as it assumes it seat at the UN Security Council in the non-permanent category for the 2024-2025 term, brings rich experience to the position. He is currently a Member of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority (2023-2027), and Co-chair of the of the Review Mechanism of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute system.

From September 2018 to August 2023, Dr. Kanu served as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative (Legal Affairs) of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York. In that role, Dr. Kanu he served in several leadership capacities, including as President of UN Convention on Law of the Sea 29th Meeting of the States Parties; Coordinator (Lead Negotiator) of the Legal Experts of the African Group on marine biodiversity (BBNJ) and Lead on the marine genetic resources part; Coordinator of the Informal Working Group of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Outstanding Issues on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism; and Coordinator of the African Group on the reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Working Group III.

Ambassador Dr. Kanu has previously worked as a legal practitioner in Sierra Leone and served as Managing Partner, Kanu & Associates, a commercial and public interest law firm in Sierra Leone. He was Prosecutor of the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and also Secretary of the General Legal Council of Sierra Leone. He was a Partner at law firms Tejan-Cole, Yillah & Bangura, and M. S. Turay & Associates in Sierra Leone. He was Legal Officer at Procredit Bank, now Ecobank Microfinance in Sierra Leone; and Visiting Associate, White & Case LLP in the London office.

Dr. Kanu holds a Doctoral of Juridical Science and Master of Laws in International Business Law, Central European University; Degree of Utter Barrister (B.L), Sierra Leone Law School; and Bachelor of Laws with Honours, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He is a United Nations International Law Fellow, and a Visiting Senior Fellow in Practice at the Law School of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ambassador Dr. Kanu is married to Mrs. Rita Sia Abibatu Kanu with two children.

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