A photo of Nguyen Hong Thao when he served as the Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014 (Photo: VNA)

New York (VNA) – The Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations in New York has been canvassing for votes for Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Nguyen Hong Thao to join the UN’s International Law Commission (ILC).

Thao is running for a seat among the seven assigned for the Asian-Pacific region at the ILC.

At the electioneering event on June 23, Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga – head of the Vietnamese mission – said Thao is an experienced diplomat and expert on international law. That Vietnam, for the first time, has a candidate for a seat in the ILC demonstrates its commitment to ensuring international law and contributing to the UN’s activities.

In his speech, Thao underlined both traditional and non-traditional challenges facing countries in the world such as armed conflicts, migration, crimes against humanity, terrorism and climate change. All countries should seek a common voice in developing and systematising international law, he said.

He said his country is experienced in managing challenges and difficulties thanks to efforts for peace, security, poverty relief and sustainable development. Over the past years, it has fulfilled the role of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member in many other UN organisations and institutions.

The ambassador promised if he is elected, he will prioritise issues suitable for Asia-Pacific and developing nations in Asia and Africa, including collecting and publicising documents relevant to international law enforcement practices in Asia-Pacific, management of natural resources and environmental protection, airspace and outer space management, anti-terrorism, cyberspace and dispute settlement by peaceful measures.

Thao’s electioneering kicked off in February 2016 after the Vietnamese delegation to the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other Geneva-based international organisations sent a diplomatic note introducing him to other countries’ delegations. The election is set to take place at a session of the UN General Assembly later this year.

Ambassador Thao has been Vice Chairman of the National Border Committee, head of the negotiation teams for border agreements with Vietnam’s neighbouring countries, and an adviser on the 2012 Law of the Sea of Vietnam. He has spent 40 years working in diplomacy.

The International Law Commission comprises 34 members elected every five years and working independently from the countries that nominate them. It specialises in drafting international conventions and studying major issues of international law.

The current Asian-Pacific members of the ILC are from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Thailand and Indonesia.-VNA