Rome, Italy – On 17 November, the Assembly of Parties of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) elected Irene Khan as the new Director-General of the Organization.
Twenty-five of IDLO's 26 Members Parties attended the annual Assembly, which was held at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. Ambassadors and other high-level representatives from more than 30 observer states and UN agencies also attended the meeting, together with members of the organization’s senior management and the Chairman of the IDLO Board of Advisers.
During the Assembly, the Member Parties approved IDLO’s Management Plan and Budget for 2012 and established a working group to examine new funding models to strengthen the organization’s long-term financial sustainability.
Irene Khan brings to IDLO many years of experience in international organizations and expertise in international human rights law having spent two decades at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and nine years as Secretary General of Amnesty International. Ms. Khan will officially take office for a four-year term as the IDLO Director-General in January 2012.
H.E. Ertharin Cousin, United States Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome and current President of the IDLO Assembly of Parties, said, “It is my distinct pleasure that we welcome Irene Khan as the new Director-General. I know I speak in unison on behalf of the Assembly of Parties when I say that we are confident that Ms. Khan will be pivotal in moving IDLO forward on critical programming planned for 2012-2013.”
Ambassador Cousin emphasized the United States commitment, support and dedication to the IDLO and its mission. The Ambassador also gave a warm welcome to IDLO’s newest member parties: Mozambique, Turkey and Peru who joined in 2011 bringing the total number of Member Parties to 26.
Upon being informed of the appointment by the Assembly of Parties, Irene Khan responded, "It is a great honor to be selected for this prestigious position. I look forward to working closely with governments, other stakeholders and IDLO’s professional staff to fulfill the organization’s mission to strengthen the rule of law and good governance."
Jeffrey S. Waldron, IDLO's Acting Director-General, congratulated Ms. Khan saying: “First and foremost, I would like to join the President in congratulating Ms. Khan on her appointment as IDLO’s next Director-General. On behalf of all staff at IDLO, we very much look forward to welcoming her to the organization soon."
Mr. Waldron, who received a standing ovation for his achievements during his period as Acting Director-General, added “When I look back on how much has been achieved this year I feel extremely proud and honored to have served in the role of Acting Director-General. IDLO has accomplished so much this year and we have created a stable foundation from which the newly elected Director-General will be able to further build and create a strong future for the organization.”
At the Assembly the Member Parties also appointed Ecuador as the new ad hoc member of the Organization’s Standing Committee. The Netherlands was elected as the new Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee (AFC); the Philippines joined the AFC as a new member, while the Assembly agreed that China, Jordan and Kenya continue serving on the Committee. The Member Parties also appointed four new members to the IDLO Board of Advisors.