17 March 1999


17 March 1999

Press Release


19990317 Biographical Note

Peter Tomka, the new Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations, today presented his credentials to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Tomka served as the Director- General for Legal and Consular Affairs and the Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, and Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law in the Council of Europe.

Following the dissolution of the Czecho-Slovak Federation and the admission of Slovakia to the United Nations, Mr. Tomka served as his country's Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1994 until early in 1997.

He was a delegate to the forty-fifth up to the fifty-third sessions of the General Assembly, serving as the Deputy Head of Slovakia's delegation to the forty-ninth, fiftieth and fifty-first sessions.

In 1991, Mr. Tomka was appointed Counsellor and Legal Adviser at Czechoslovakia's United Nations Mission and, since 1990, has participated actively in the work of the Sixth Committee (Legal), where he has served as Chairman (1997) and Vice-Chairman (1992), and as Chairman of its Working Group for the United Nations Decade of International Law (1995).

In 1998, he was Vice-Chairman of the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In 1996, Mr. Tomka served as Chairman of the Meeting of States Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and as Vice- Chairman of the Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He was also Chairman of the Committee on Applications for Review of the Judgements of the United Nations Administrative Tribunals (1991).

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Mr. Tomka began his career in his country's Foreign Ministry in 1986, as Assistant Legal Adviser, becoming head of its Public International Law Division in 1990. During that period, Mr. Tomka also taught international law at Charles University in Prague (1980-1991). In 1993, he was appointed his country's agent before the International Court of Justice in the Gabcikovo- Nagymaros Project case between Hungary and Slovakia -- a case which he pleaded before the Court during March and April 1997.

Throughout his career, Mr. Tomka has participated in a number of conferences dealing with international legal issues, including the law of the sea, the law of Antarctica, and international humanitarian law. He has also authored publications on such subjects as the codification of international law, peaceful settlement of disputes, crimes against peace and security, and a collection of texts on the law of the European Union.

Mr. Tomka is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the International Law Association, and the Slovak Society for International Law.

Graduating from Charles University Law School in 1979, Mr. Tomka completed his doctoral dissertation in 1985 on the codification of international law in the United Nations. He also studied international law in France, at the Institut du Droit de la Paix et du Developpement, and in Ukraine, at the Faculty of International Law and International Relations.

Fluent in English, French, Russian and Czech, Mr. Tomka was born on 1 June 1956 and is married.

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For information media. Not an official record.