Dr. Vilawan Mangklatanakul, Director-General of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, Thailand's first woman candidate, elected by the United Nations General Assembly to the International Law Commission (ILC)

Dr. Vilawan Mangklatanakul, Director-General of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, Thailand's first woman candidate, elected by the United Nations General Assembly to the International Law Commission (ILC)

13 Nov 2021

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On 12 November 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United Nations General Assembly comprising 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 term 2023-2027. Dr. Vilawan is Thailand’s first and the only woman candidate from the Asia-Pacific Group, and the first woman international lawyer from ASEAN to be elected to such position.

The election of Dr. Vilawan to the International Law Commission (by 162 votes) underlines Thailand’s support for the multilateral system underpinned by respect for the rule of law and international cooperation. It also reflects the recognition that Thailand has earned on the world stage, the country’s cordial relations with other UN Member States and competence of Thailand’s candidate in the field of international law.

As a member of the International Law Commission, Dr. Vilawan will push forward topics of today’s challenges that are of concerns to Thailand and the international community, and thus require legal clarity, namely, treaty making in the digital era, sea-level rise, pandemics and the fair and equitable treatment standard in international investment law. Moreover, Dr. Vilawan would like to see the Commission work more closely with UN Member States in order to be informed of State practice and views so that product of the work of the Commission will be of real practical use.

4 other women candidates from Kenya, Portugal, Turkey and New Zealand from a total of 8 ILC women candidates, have also been elected to the Commission. This milestone has marked a new chapter in the history of the Commission, which for the past 74 years has had only 7 women members. Increased women’s participation in the International Law Commission will add diversity and inclusivity in the Commission’s perspective as it works to complete its studies and make recommendations for the purpose of the progressive development of international law and its codification.

The total of 34 candidates elected to the Commission are from Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Democratic Republic of the 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 United Nations General Assembly to initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of the progressive development of international law and its codification, under article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations. The International Law Commission consists of 34 members from 5 regional groups, serving a five-year term.

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