Nov 13, 2021 / 11:17

Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao reelected to ILC 2023-2027

Holder of LL.B. and Ph.D. degrees from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France, the Vietnamese ambassador is the author of a series of works written in both English and French on international law, especially on the maritime dispute resolutions.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao on November 12 was re-elected as a member of the International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-2027 term with 145 out of 191 votes, ranking 4th among 11 candidates in Asia-Pacific.

The reelection was taken place by secret ballot at the 32nd meeting of the General Assembly at its 76th session held in New York.

 Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao (L) and Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, at the UN session in New York on Nov 13. Photo: MoFA

Shortly after the reelection, Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao expressed that he would help promote cooperation among nations and solve disputes in terms of building international law, adding that he’s proud to continue contributing to the emerging status of Vietnam on the global agendas.

Being adopted in 1947 by the UN General Assembly, the ILC has 34 members, including nine nationals from African states, eight in Asia-Pacific, three from Eastern European states, six from Latin American and the Caribbean States, eight from Western European and other states.

Countries that have representatives in the ILC, 2023-2027 term, include Sierra Leone, Senegal, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Cyprus, Mongolia, Russia, Romania, Latvia, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Austria, New Zealand, France, and Turkey.

In 2016, Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao became the first Vietnamese to be elected as an ILC member for the 2017-2022 (extended) term.

In his first term, Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao has been an active contributor to the advancement of international law. In 2018, he was honorably elected as the 2nd Vice-Chair of the ILC.

“As a result, I am proud to report that during my term, the Commission has focused its efforts on topical issues such as environmental protection, state succession, provisional application of treaty and crimes against humanity and delivered remarkable progress in sea-level rise and principles of law,” Thao said. 

In the second term, he will remain an enthusiastic member to spearhead newly emerged, challenging, and demanding issues namely the protection of people in the pandemic, climate change, sea-level rise, biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction for the benefit of future generations. 

 International Law Commission, 2017–2022, with members of the Secretariat. Photo taken at the seventieth session, 2018 by Antoine Tardy
Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao (5th from left, 1st row) 

Associate Prof. Nguyen Hong Thao received his LL.B. and Ph.D. from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France in 1996. His main academic specializations are in Public International Law, Law of the Sea, International Organizations, International Humanitarian and Environmental Law.

Dr. Thao is the author of a series of works written in both English and French on international law, especially on the maritime dispute resolutions, including “Conservation and Management of Marine Resources in Asia-Pacific: Who is responsible?” (2004), “Vietnam’s position on the Sovereignty over the Paracels and Spratlys: Its maritime claim” (2012), “Sea Level Rise and the Law of the Sea in Western Pacific Region” (2020).

He was Arbitrator under Annex VI to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vietnam to Kuwait and Malaysia.

Ambassador Thao was Chief negotiator of Vietnam for the Protocol on land border demarcation and marker plantation between Vietnam and China in 2009; the Treaty supplementing the Treaty on land boundary delimitation between Vietnam and Laos in 2007; the Treaty supplementing the Treaty on the delimitation of national boundaries between Vietnam and Cambodia of 1985 in 2005.

He was a member of the Vietnam negotiating delegation for the Agreement between Vietnam and Indonesia on the delimitation of the continental shelf boundary in 2003; and the Agreement between Vietnam and Thailand on the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Gulf of Thailand in 1997.

He worked as a key member of the Drafting Committee for various domestic laws, including the Maritime Code, the Law on Environment, the Law on Fisheries, and the Law of the Sea of Vietnam.

He is also a member of the Asian Society of International Law, Vietnam Society of International Law, Editor in Chief of the Vietnamese Yearbook on International Law, Member of the Advisory Board of the Asian Yearbook of International Law AYBIL, Member of the Asian Journal of International Law (AsianJIL), AALCO Journal of International Law and Journal of East Asia and International Law Editorial Boards.