Nabil El-Araby

Nabil El-Araby

Nabil El-Araby

Dr. Nabil El-Araby was appointed secretary general of the League of Arab States in the period between July 2011 to July 2016. In 2011 he also acted as Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs. From 2008 to 2011 he was the director of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. Before then, from 2001 to 2006, he was a member of the International Court of Justice. From 1999 to 2001 he was a commissioner at the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva. From 1994 to 2001 he was a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations. In 1990, El-Araby was appointed as a judge in the judicial tribunal of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. El-Araby was also a member of the governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and a partner at Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law. Between 1991 and 1999 he was a permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and before that from 1987 to 1991 he was a permanent representative of Egypt to the United Nations Office in Geneva. Prior to these positions he was a legal adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassador to India, and ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.

Dr. El-Araby occupied several positions at the United Nations:

  • June 1996: president of the Security Council.
  • 1993, 1994, 1997: vice president of the General Assembly.
  • Chairman, First (disarmament and international security questions) Committee of the General Assembly (forty-seventh session).
  • 1992-1996: chairman of the informal working group on an Agenda for Peace.
  • 1992: chairman, Working Group on Legal Instruments, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1981-1982: chairman, United Nations Special Committee on Enhancing the Principle of the Prohibition of the Use of Force in International Relations.


Dr. Nabil El-Araby obtained his Doctor of Juridical Science degree and his Master in International Law degree from New York University Law School in 1971 and 1969 respectively. He obtained his License en Droit degree from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 1955.

Over the course of his career, Dr. El-Araby has been involved in a large number of legal activities including:

  • 1976-1978 and 1983-1987: legal adviser and director, legal and treaties department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo.
  • 1986-1988: agent of the Egyptian government to the Egyptian-Israeli arbitration tribunal (Taba dispute).
  • 1985-1989: head of the Egyptian delegation to the Taba negotiations.
  • 1995: appointed by the Egyptian Minister of Justice on the list of arbitrations in civil and commercial affairs in Egypt.
  • Member of the board, Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
    Member of the board, Egyptian Society of International Law.
  • Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre List of Neutrals.
  • 1989-1992: arbitrator at the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration in Paris in a dispute concerning the Suez Canal.
  • 1978: legal adviser to the Egyptian delegation to the Camp David Middle East Peace Conference.
  • 1973: special fellow in International Law, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
  • 1973-1975: legal adviser to the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations Geneva Middle East Peace Conference.
  • 1968 Adlai Stevenson Fellow in International Law, UNITAR.


Dr El-Araby has lectured at the Hague Academy of International Law, Columbia University, New York University, Duke University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Houston, the American Society of International Law, the New York Bar Association, the Greek Institute of International Law, and the International Peace Academy in New York and Vienna.

He lectured in international law and international organizations at the Institute for Diplomatic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo. He was the keynote speaker at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in 1993 in Geneva, giving a talk titled The United Nations and the New World Order. And he has been a panelist at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.