Vietnamese Ambassador is ready for new global challenging issues faced by future generations
13:05 | 21/09/2021
VGP - Being a responsible member of the international community, Viet Nam uses international law not only for national interests but also to maintain peace and security in the region and the world, contributing to sustainable development for all.

As the country consistently implements its longstanding foreign policy doctrine of independence, self-reliance, diversification, and multilateralism, Viet Nam has been actively participating in the international legal system. International law plays an important role in protecting and ensuring sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace, security and cooperation.

On April 2021, Permanent Missions of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations in New York and Geneva have sent diplomatic notes to the UN and member countries informing the candidacy of Ambassador Professor Nguyen Hong Thao to the United Nations’ International Law Commission for the term 2023-2027.

Earlier, in November 2016, Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao became the first Vietnamese to be appointed as a member of the United Nations’ International Law Commission, for the term 2017-2021, where he had chance to work and cooperate with experts of great experience in international law. The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly in its resolution 174 (II) of 21 November 1947 for the promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification. The Commission is composed of 34 members, elected by the General Assembly from a list of candidates nominated by the Governments of States Members of the United Nations.

During his 1st term as a member of the International Law Commission, Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao showed to be an active contributor to the advancement of international law and was honorably elected as Second Vice-Chair of the Seventieth Session of the International Law Commission in 2018, a position he described as a recognition and appreciation for both Viet Nam’s and his contributions.

Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao has brought his knowledge and experience to the noble mission of the Commission in topics such as environmental protection, state succession, provisional application of treaties, crimes against humanity, sea-level rise and principles of law.

Apart from valuable professional contributions, Ambassador Thao has also played a role in fostering connections and ties among Commission’s members to promote exchange between legal researchers and practitioners of international law, either at home or abroad.

With an 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 level in relation to international law in 2020 by publishing his research article on Sea-Level Rise and the Law of the Sea in the Western Pacific Region. In October last year, he presented an assessment at a virtual conference about legal implications of the pandemic, an event co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Chile, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Turkey and Viet Nam, and members of the Commission. The ideas he presented at the conference were part of the foundation from which Viet Nam Foreign Ministry developed a proposal submitted to the UN General Assembly to mark December 27th as the International Day of Pandemic Preparedness. This International Day aims to highlight the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

There are a lot of challenges ahead for the re-election of Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao in the International Law Commission. In case of reelection, he is committed to remain an enthusiastic member of the Commission to spearhead newly emerged, challenging issues for the benefit of future generations, including the protection of people in a pandemic, climate change, sea-level rise, biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Ambassador Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao is a Professor of International Law at the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam. His main academic specializations are in Public International Law, Law of the Sea, International Organizations and Environmental Law. He has over 40 years of experience in diplomacy, served as Ambassador of Viet Nam to Malaysia (2011-2014) and to the State of Kuwait (2014-2017). He was also the deputy head of Viet Nam’s National Border Committee, and played a key role in the drafting process of Viet Nam’s 2012 Law of the Sea. Ambassador Thao obtained his PhD in Law from the University of Paris in 1996. He is also member of the Asian Society of International Law, the Viet Nam Society of International Law and the School of Law at the Viet Nam National University. Throughout his career, he has made a considerable contribution in applying and developing the knowledge base of international law in Viet Nam and published various research articles and studies.

The election of the new members of the United Nations’ International Law Commission for the term 2023-2027 will take place in November 2021 during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York./.

By Nguyen Minh

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