Professor Datuk Dr. Rahmat Mohamad of Malaysia is the fifth Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO). He was appointed on 20 June 2008 at AALCO’s 47th Annual Session in New Delhi, India, and unanimously reappointed for his second and final four-year term on 18 June 2012 at 51st Annual Session in Abuja, Nigeria.
During this time Rahmat Mohamad will continue and see to fruition the work he has begun as Secretary-General of AALCO in the quest to revitalize the organization, in the promotion of the codification, dissemination and development of international law and in ensuring that the Asian-African perspective is heard and heeded in the international community as regards the progressive development of international law.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General of AALCO, Rahmat Mohamad was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia and held the position of Professor of International Law since 2003 at the Faculty of Law at Universiti Teknologi MARA, where he started his career as a Lecturer in 1986. He read law at the Insitut Teknologi MARA and pursued his LL.M. at Bristol University, England, in 1986. He attained his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom, in 2000.
Pursuant to the Putrajaya Declaration of Revitalizing and Strengthening the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization made at the 48th Session in 2009, Rahmat Mohamad has worked tirelessly towards Reaffirming the importance and relevance of AALCO in the field of international law and in shaping an effective multilateral system, and to place it on strong financial footing to continue effectively fulfilling its role. Among the initiatives taken by Rahmat Mohamad to revitalize the organization is the creation of the Eminent Person’s Group (EPG) comprising of eminent international law practitioners and jurists whose core mission is to guide the Secretary General of AALCO as regards
the direction of the organization and ascertaining challenges in the international legal order that AALCO can help resolve.
One of AALCO’s most important statutory obligations is to represent the Asian-African perspective in the deliberations of the International Law Commission (ILC) and ensuring that the nations in the region are aware and informed of developments made by ILC and that their opinions and perspectives are heard by the ILC. Added impetus has been given to AALCO’s work with the ILC under Rahmat Mohamad following the 50th Session, which mandated an Inter-Sessional Meeting of Legal Experts to discuss matters solely relating to the ILC in 2012.
Under Rahmat Mohamad, AALCO has also embarked on a number of capacity-building programmes with other international organizations such as the UN Office of Legal Affairs (UNOLA), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in order to assist member states in strengthening their regional and national capacities to implement legal obligations. Simultaneously AALCO has continued its work as a Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York with the organization of meetings of Legal Advisors from AALCO member and non-member stats on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions to discuss and deliberate on pressing matters of international law. One of the ongoing endeavours undertaken by Rahmat Mohamad is to strengthen and build a strong working relationship with other regional organizations like ASEAN, ECO and SAARC.
In his capacity both as the Secretary-General of AALCO, as well as a respected scholar of International Law, Rahmat Mohamad has participated in several conferences and seminars as well as maintaining a busy lecture schedule, with the quest to present the views and common concerns of nations in the Asian-African region, and enlighten them on the workings of AALCO,before various international fora, to state officials and academicians alike. Under Rahmat Mohamad’s supervision, AALCO has also organized various conferences on topics as far ranging as The Law of the Sea, Climate Change and Competition Law. Furthermore, Rahmat Mohamad has delivered academic lectures and addresses at various academic institutions both in India and abroad. In an effort to disseminate knowledge both on international law and on the Asian-African perspective Rahmat Mohamad has published books as well as serving as the Editor-in-Chief for several AALCO publications and journals.
Rahmat Mohamad is married and has four children. He currently resides in the Diplomatic Enclave of Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India.