H.E. Gudmundur Eiriksson, Ambassador of Iceland to India

H.E. Gudmundur Eiriksson received an Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rutgers College in 1970, an LL.B. (Honours) degree from King’s College, University of London in 1973 (Jelf Memorial Medallist) and an LL.M. degree from Columbia University in 1974.

Ambassador Eiriksson served as a Law of the Sea Officer in the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Law of the Sea from 1974 to 1976 and as a Special Consultant at the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1977.

He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland in 1977, with the rank of Ambassador since 1988, and served as Assistant Legal Adviser (1977-1980), Legal Adviser (1980-1996), Ambassador to Canada, Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru (2003-2005), Ambassador to South Africa since 2008 (resident in Pretoria 2008-2009 and in New Delhi since 2009) and Ambassador to India since November 2009. He was appointed as the first Chairman of the Icelandic National Committee on International Humanitarian Law (2008).

He was a Judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea from 1996 to 2002 (President, Chamber for Fisheries Disputes 1999-2002). He was a Lecturer at the University of Iceland from 1987 to 1996 and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law from 1994 to 1995. He was Director of International Law and Human Rights Studies and Dean for Cooperative Programmes at the University for Peace in Costa Rica from 2001 to 2003 and Professor and Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights from 2005 to 2008. He was appointed Legal Adviser to the Council of the University in 2004.

Ambassador Eiriksson was a member of the United Nations International Law Commission from 1987 to 1996 (Rapporteur 1990; First Vice-Chairman 1993). He was a member of Icelandic delegations in numerous international forums, including the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (1978-1982) and the Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (President 1984-1988). He is a member of the Panel of Conciliators and Arbitrators, Center for Arbitrations, Mediation and Conciliation, Dakar, the Panel of Conciliators and Panel of Arbitrators, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, and the International Council of Environmental Law, Bonn. He is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Inter-American & European Human Rights Journal/Revista Interamericana & Europea de Derechos Humanos and of the Advisory Board of the Nordic Journal of International Law.

He is the author of The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2000) and numerous articles on the law of the sea, legal education, international criminal law, international organizations, international relations, disarmament and human rights, including annual surveys of the work of the International Law Commission in the Nordic Journal of International Law for the period during which he was a member of the Commission.

In addition to the abovementioned institutions, Ambassador Eiriksson has lectured at the Universities of Cambridge, London, Durham, Lund, Helsinki, Lapland, Stockholm, Ottawa, Oslo, Tromso, Bergen, Hamburg, Utrecht, Georgia (Athens, Georgia), California (Berkeley), Kyoto, Geneva and Hawaii, at the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City), the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima), the Army Institute of Law (Mohali, Punjab) and at Dalhousie, Duke, Columbia, Reykjavik and Abo Academi Universities.

He is a Knight Commander of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon.

Ambassador Eiriksson was born on 26 October 1947. He is married to Thorey Vigdis Olafsdottir, social worker, psychologist and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Iceland. They have four children.