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India's Dalveer Bhandari wins second term at ICJ after UK pulls out of race

The permanent members of the Security Council -- the US, Russia, France, and China -- were understood to have been throwing their weight behind Britain's Christopher Greenwood

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

International Court of Justice
This undated picture shows ongoing proceedings in the International Court of Justice. File photo

India's nominee to the (ICJ) was re-elected to the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election.

Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The elections were held after the United Kingdom, in a dramatic turn of events, withdrew out of the race for the Hague-based ICJ, thus paving the way for Bhandari's re-election to the prestigious world court.

Bhandari and Britain's were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the ICJ.

The permanent members of the Security Council -- the US, Russia, France, and China -- were understood to have been throwing their weight behind Greenwood. Britain is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council.


In a dramatic turn of events, the British Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.

Read out simultaneously by both the presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council, Rycroft said that UK's candidate Judge had decided to withdraw from the election to the 15-membered ICJ. He along with Bhandari were seeking re-election for the nine-year term. 

In the 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had got nearly two-thirds of the votes in the General Assembly, and in the Security Council, Greenwood consistently received nine votes as against five for his opponent. This resulted in a stalemate.


As per the letter read out simultaneously in the General Assembly and the Security Council, Rycroft said the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting.

As such he announced withdrawal from the race. With Bhandari being the only candidate left in the race, the General Assembly and Security Council still went through the formal motion of voting to complete the formalities.

The voting in the General Assembly, which overwhelmingly favours India, is reflective of the new global order, which is not pleasant to the world powers.

India has been seeking that the democratic process needed to play out its full course in both the Security Council and the General Assembly and there should not be an intervention or adoption of a process that has never been used before or one that undermines the voice of the majority. 

First Published: Tue, November 21 2017. 08:09 IST
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