President Rodrigo Duterte nominated Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to be part of a United Nations (UN) expert panel that develops and codifies international law.
Roque is one of the 11 nominees from the Asia Pacific Region to the International Law Commission (ILC), alongside Japan and the United Kingdom; China, South Korea; Thailand; Cyprus; Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka; Mongolia; and Lebanon and Bahrain.
Roque was a former human rights lawyer, a professor on International Law in the UP College of Law, and a lawmaker before his stint as Duterte’s spokesperson.
Based on the advisory issued by the United Nations on the International Law Commission, the United Nations General Assembly will elect eight individuals to the International Law Commission from the Asia Pacific Region.
Roque thanked President Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. for his nomination.
“Of course, I’m very grateful to the President and Secretary Locsin for the nomination. It’s something that could not have happened without the President’s say because it had to be an official nomination,” he said.
The members will serve for five years and are eligible for reelection.
Roque also said that the nominees do not, in any way, act or participate in proceedings as state agents and are merely elected because of their “expertise in international law.”
He also said that his nomination to the ILC will not affect his desire for other offices he may occupy in the future. Occupying a seat in the expert panel would not be a full-time job, he added.
“The International Law Commission is a group created to codify customary international law. But the elected members of the International Law Commission do not hold any office. It is not a job. They will only meet twice a year, once in Geneva, and once in New York but it is not a job,” he said.