Vienna/New York, 23 June 2005 - The Austrian Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr Helmut Türk, was appointed judge with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg (ITLS) after gaining an impressive majority of votes in an election at the seat of the UN in New York on 22 June. Ambassador Dr Türk will take up office and commence his nine year term on 1 October 2005.
"I congratulate Ambassador Türk on his appointment as judge with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. His appointment not only signals acknowledgement of this renowned expert of public international law and maritime law but also underscores the high regard in which Austrian diplomacy is held in the world", explained Foreign Minister Plassnik.
Ambassador Türk was long standing head of the Public International Law Division at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made a significant contribution to the Law of the Sea Convention. In the past, the United Nations paid tribute to him as one of the "founding fathers" of the Convention. "His appointment is also the recognition by the community of states of Austria’s decade long commitment in the development of public international law within the framework of the UN", said Plassnik.