On November 12, 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United Nations General Assembly composed of 193 Member States, elected during its 76th session Dr. Vilawan Mangklatanakul, Director General of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, to serve as one of the 34 members of the International Law Commission for the 2023-2027 term. Dr. Vilawan is the first and only Thai candidate from the Asia-Pacific group, and the first international woman lawyer from ASEAN to be elected to such a position.
Dr. Vilawan’s election to the International Law Commission (by 162 votes) underlines Thailand’s support for the multilateral system based on respect for the rule of law and international cooperation. It also reflects the recognition Thailand has earned on the world stage, the country’s cordial relations with other UN member states, and the Thai candidate’s competence in the field of international law.
As a member of the International Law Commission, Dr. Vilawan will advance the topics of today’s challenges that are of concern to Thailand and the international community, and therefore require legal clarity, namely, the conclusion of treaties at the digital age, sea level rise, pandemics and the standard of fair and equitable treatment in international investment law. Furthermore, Dr. Vilawan would like to see the Commission work more closely with UN Member States to be informed of State practice and views so that the work product of the Commission is of real practical use. .
4 other women candidates from Kenya, Portugal, Turkey and New Zealand out of a total of 8 ILC women candidates were also elected to the Commission. This step marks a new chapter in the history of the Commission which, for 74 years, has had only 7 women among its members. The increased participation of women in the International Law Commission will add diversity and inclusiveness to the perspective of the Commission as it works to complete its studies and formulate recommendations for the progressive development of international law and its coding.
A total of 34 candidates elected to the Commission come from Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Japan, China, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Cyprus, Viet Nam, India, Mongolia, Romania, Latvia, Russia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, United Kingdom , Norway, France, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand.
The International Law Commission was established in 1947 to undertake the mandate of the General Assembly of the United Nations to undertake studies and make recommendations for the purposes of the progressive development of international law and its codification, under the Article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations. The International Law Commission is composed of 34 members from 5 regional groups, for a term of five years.
Article from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand (NNT)