Prof. Lawrence Awosika, Nigeria’s candidate to the UN? Commission on the Limits of the Continental shelf (CLCS), was? on Thursday elected? in the first round of balloting.

In the election held at the UN Headquarters in New York, Awosika polled 161 votes to get re-election for a fourth term in the commission.

The UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Awosika was elected during the 22nd session of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which ended early on Thursday.

Awosika, a Marine Geophysicist, is the Director, Marine Geology/Geophysics Department of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Lagos.

?With 164 states parties present and voting, candidates required two thirds majority votes to be elected.

?The 21 new members of the commission, whose term will commence on June 16, will be sworn in at the 30th session of the commission starting from July 30.

In an interview with NAN after his election, Awosikathanked Nigeria’s Permanent Mission for his victory.

He said that the mission’s hard work and excellent campaign strategy began in January.

?“Having secured election for another five years, the next important issue facing the Nigerian is the enhancement and the defence of Nigeria’s submission for extended continental shelf which was submitted to the commission on May 7, 2009, and is presently on the queue.

“The National Boundary Commission would need to be adequately supported and sustained to accomplish this strategic national task of securing more maritime area for Nigeria that could be extended to a maximum 350 nautical miles in accordance with Article 76 of UNCLOS,’’ he said.

Awosika statedthat so far all the data in the submission had been installed in the computer systems in the Nigerian Extended Continental Shelf project office.

It was established in 2010 at the Nigerian Mission to the UN in New York.

Awosikasaid follow-up activities had since been hampered due to the lack of funds.

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