Vietnamese Ambassador Stands for Election to Int’l Law Commission Again

Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao, the first Vietnamese to be elected as a member of the International Law Commission (ILC), will continue running for this post for another tenure, 2023-2027
November 12, 2021 | 09:26
Vietnamese Ambassador Stands for Election to Int’l Law Commission Again
Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao during an ILO session. Photo: VNA

According to VNA, Thao is among 11 candidates who will be running for eight seats representing the Asia-Pacific region. The remaining 10 candidates are from Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Cyprus, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Mongolia and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, there are 12 candidates running for nine seats representing Africa; seven candidates running for three seats representing Eastern Europe; seven candidates running for six seats representing Latin America and the Caribbean; and 11 candidates running for eight seats representing Western Europe and other countries.

As reported by VOV, Ambassador Thao graduated Sorbonne University (France) majoring in international law. He held important positions such as deputy head of the National Border Committee, head of the negotiation teams on border agreements with neighbouring countries and a legal advisor to the drafting process of Vietnam’s 2012 Law of the Sea. He is now also teaching international law at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

Vietnamese Ambassador Stands for Election to Int’l Law Commission Again
Members of the ILC at the 70th meeting in Geneva. Photo: VNA

In 2016, he became the first Vietnamese to be elected as an ILC member. During the 2017-2022 tenure, he actively promoted ILC’s research results, delivered speeches and joined discussions at the ILC.

He also helped express developing nations’ interest in new and non-traditional topics, and actively joined in discussions on topics such as protection of the atmosphere and environmental protection in armed conflicts. Most notably, he strongly supported the ILC’s research on rising seawater levels and the addition of the issue to the committee's long-term working agenda.

With in-depth knowledge about laws on the sea and the environment, he made significant contributions to the first report of the research group on rising sea levels in relation to international law last year.

Apart from valuable professional contributions, Thao also played a role in fostering connections and ties among ILC members to promote exchange between legal researchers and practitioners of international law at home and abroad. He was also a speaker at many universities and prestigious seminars in the region. In 2018, he was elected as the second Vice Chairman of the ILC on the occasion of its 70th founding anniversary.

ILC, the UN’s subsidiary organ established in 1947, is in charge of compiling international treaties, drafting international conventions, and studying major issues related to international law. It has 34 members, elected once every five years.

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