Nawaf Salam

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Nawaf Salam
Judge of the International Court of Justice
Assumed office
6 February 2018
Preceded byChristopher Greenwood
Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations
In office
13 July 2007 – 15 December 2017
Personal details
Nawaf Salam

(1953-12-15) 15 December 1953 (age 65)
Beirut, Lebanon
EducationHarvard Law School
Sciences Po
Sorbonne University
OccupationInternational Judge/Diplomat

Nawaf Salam (Arabic: نواف سلام‎; born 15 December 1953) is a Lebanese diplomat, jurist, and academic. He was elected on November 9, 2017 as judge on the International Court of Justice for the 2018-2027 term, having received a concurrent majority of votes in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council,[1][2] he served as Lebanon's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 2007 to 2017.[3]

Background and education[edit]

Son of Abdallah Salam and Reckat Beyhum, Nawaf was born into a prominent family from Beirut, Lebanon, his grandfather, Salim Salam, the leader of the "Beirut Reform Movement", was elected deputy of Beirut to the Ottoman parliament in 1912. His uncle, Saeb Salam, fought for Lebanon's independence from the French Mandate of Lebanon and subsequently served four times as Prime Minister of Lebanon between 1952 and 1973,[4] his cousin Tammam Salam was also Prime Minister of Lebanon between 2014 and 2016. He is married to Sahar Baassiri, columnist and Lebanon's Ambassador to UNESCO as of January 2018, he has two sons, Abdallah and Marwan.

Salam received a doctorate in Political Science from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) (1992),[5] an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School (1991),[6] and a doctorate in History from Sorbonne University (1979).[7]


From 1979 to 1981, Salam was a lecturer on the contemporary history of the Middle East at Sorbonne University. In 1981, he left Paris to spend an academic year as a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.[8] Between 1985 and 1989, he was a lecturer at the American University of Beirut,[9] during which time he also practiced law as an associate at Takla Law Firm, he was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School from 1989 to 1990, and a foreign legal consultant at Edwards & Angell LLP[10] from 1989 to 1992. He resumed his practice at Takla Law Firm in 1992 as well as his teaching of International Law and International Relations at the American University of Beirut, he was appointed Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science in 2003, and later Associate Professor of Political Science in 2005. From 2005 to 2006, he was the Chairman of the[11] Political Studies and Public Administration Department.[12]

Salam also served as a member of the Executive Bureau of the Economic and Social Council of Lebanon from 1999 to 2002[13] and as a member of the Lebanese National Commission of UNESCO from 2000 to 2004.[14] In 2005 and 2006, he was a member and Secretary General of The National Commission on Electoral Reform[15] which was entrusted with the task of preparing the draft of a new electoral law for Lebanon, he also served on the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS).[16]

Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations[edit]

From July 2007 to December 2017, he served as Lebanon's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.[17]

Salam's mandate at the UN was marked by his repeated interventions before the Security Council calling for security and stability in South Lebanon through the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701,[18] promoting the policy of "disassociation" from the Syrian conflict, and seeking an end to impunity through the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon[19] in the matter of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri[20] pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 1757,[21] he was also a strong advocate of Palestinian National rights, including the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.

He represented Lebanon on the Security Council in 2010 and 2011, for Lebanon's two-year term as a non-permanent member. In May 2010 and September 2011, he held the rotating Presidency of the Security Council.

He served as Vice-President of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations from September 2012 to September 2013.

He represented Lebanon on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2016 and 2017.

During his mandate at the United Nations, Salam chaired and participated in many Lebanese delegations to international conferences and meetings, including the Climate Change Summits (Paris 2015 and Copenhagen 2009), the International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa 2015), and the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro 2012).


Salam was awarded in 2012 the French Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) at the rank of Officer (Officier) by President Nicolas Sarkozy.[22][23]

Main Publications[edit]

Books and Booklets[edit]

  • Editor and Contributor: Lebanon in the Security Council, 2010-2011 (in Arabic), Dar Al Saqi, Beirut, 2013 ISBN 978-1-85516-970-8[24]
  • Editor and Contributor: Le Moyen-Orient à l'Epreuve de l'Irak, Actes-Sud/Sindbad, Paris, 2005. ISBN 2-7427-5249-8[25]
  • Editor and Contributor: Options for Lebanon, I.B.Tauris, London and New York, 2004. ISBN 1-85043-928-1 (Arabic version published by Dar An-Nahar ISBN 9953-10-003-9).[26]
  • Co-editor with Theodor Hanf and Contributor: Lebanon in Limbo, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2003. ISBN 3-8329-0310-0[27]
  • Co-editor with Fares Sassine, Lebanon. A Century in Pictures (Trilingual English-French-Arabic), Dar An-Nahar, Beirut, 2003. ISBN 2-84289-286-0[28]
  • Civil Society in the Arab World: The Historical and Political Dimensions, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, Occasional Publications, Cambridge, 2002. ISBN 0-88086-050-2[29]
  • La condition libanaise. Communautés, citoyen, Etat; suivi de: La citoyenneté en pays d'Islam. Dar An-Nahar, Beirut, 1998. (2nd ed. 2001). ISBN 2-84289-099-X[30]
  • Mythes et Politiques au Liban. Trois Essais, Fiches du Monde Arabe, Beirut, 1987.
  • Prospects for Lebanon. An Essay on Political Opportunities and Constraints, C.L.S., Oxford, 1987. ISBN 1-870552-06-7

Chapters in books and articles in refereed journals[edit]

  • "Taif's Dysfunctions and the Need for Constitutional Reform" in Youssef Choueiri, Breaking the Cycle: Civil Wars in Lebanon, Stacey International, London, 2007.
  • "Note sur le système confessionnel au Liban" in Abdel-Wahab Bouhdiba (ed.), Mélanges en l'honneur de Dominique Chevallier, Paris-Tunis, 2006, pp. 77–86.
  • "The War in Lebanon: its origins and courses" in Peter Molt and Helga Dickow, Comparing Cultures and Conflicts, Baden-Baden, 2006, pp. 290–299.
  • "The Emergence of Citizenship in Islamdom" in Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, part 2, 1997, pp. 125–147.
  • "Between Repatriation and Resettlement: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon" in Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XXIV/1, n° 93, 1994, pp. 18–27. (French version in Revue d'Etudes Palestiniennes [53] 1, automne 1994)
  • "Is the Exceptio non adimpleti contractus part of Lex Mercatoria?" Co-author with Philip D. O'Neill, Jr. in Emmanuel Gaillard (ed.), Transnational Rules in International Commercial Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce/International Law Association, Paris, 1993, pp. 147–159.

External links[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Saeb Salam, 95, Former Lebanese Prime Minister -". New York Times. 23 January 2000. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Sciences Po". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Harvard Law School". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Site officiel de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  8. ^ Feldman, Noah (3 October 2011). "Welcome | The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Edwards Wildman". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Aub - Pspa - Home". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  12. ^ "New Permanent Representative Of Lebanon Presents Credentials". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Home". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  15. ^ "NCEL members". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  16. ^ [2] Archived 18 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^
  18. ^ [3] Archived 15 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Special Tribunal for Lebanon". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Prime Minister Rafic Hariri - The Official Web Site". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Nawaf Salam, Ambassador of Lebanon to the UN on the Investigation Commission - نواف سلام". YouTube. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Twitter / franceonu: S.E.M. Nawaf Salam, Amb. du". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Nawaf Salam décoré en grande pompe, à New York, de la Légion d'honneur | Politique Liban | L'Orient-Le Jour". Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^[permanent dead link]
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)