States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Thursday, June 22, 2023, elected Liberian Human Rights Lawyer, Cllr. Pela Boker Wilson to serve as one of the Independent Experts on the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) for a four-year term beginning January 2024.
Speaking after her election, Cllr. Wilson expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the nomination and support extended to her throughout the campaign process.
Cllr. Wilson described the election as the highest height in her human rights career and assured that she would uphold the highest standard of professionalism during her tenure on the CERD. “On a personal level, today signifies the highest height in my human rights career. Cognizant that I carry the flag of Liberia as an independent expert to the CERD, I intend to undertake this mandate with integrity, professionalism, and commitment.”
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is a Human Rights Treaty Body of the United Nations that consists of eighteen (18) Independent Experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights.
The independent experts are nominated by Member States but serve in their personal capacity and are charged with the responsibility to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its 182 States Parties. Liberia acceded to the Convention in 1976, seven years after it came into force.
For her part, Her Excellency Ambassador Sarah Safyn Fyneah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations, described the election as a milestone achievement for a Liberian to serve on the committee and contribute significantly to fight against racial discrimination. It is also a confirmation of Liberia’s commitment to meaningfully contribute to the work of the United Nations; Ambassador Fyneah emphasized.
Ambassador Fyneah expressed special gratitude to His Excellency Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs. for his support and guidance throughout the electoral process. She also thanked the staff of the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations for their hard work and dedication, which led to victory in a highly competitive election of thirteen (13) candidates vying for nine (9) seats.
Cllr. Wilson was elected along with eight (8) other Independent Experts from Senegal, Morocco, South Africa, China, Greece, Jamaica, Mauritania, and Malawi.
Cllr. Pela Boker Wilson is a human rights lawyer with a wealth of experience in monitoring and investigating human rights violations and currently serves as a Commissioner at the Independent National Commission on Human Rights of Liberia. She is also an Assistant Professor of Law at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.