United Nations: India’s Dalveer Bhandari was Tuesday re-elected to the International Court of Justice as the General Assembly overwhelmingly threw its weight behind him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate from a hard-fought race to the World Court.
Bhandari and UK’s Christopher Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election as the UN could not decide between them after electing four out of five judges to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Bhandari, 70, received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the ICJ after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.
Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.
“Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
In a dramatic turn of events, 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.
“The current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting. We have therefore consulted our candidate Sir Christopher Greenwood who has confirmed that his candidate for re-election to the International Court of Justice should be withdrawn,” Rycroft said in his letter which was read out simultaneously in the General Assembly and the Security Council.
“In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy; and the fact that both candidates fulfil the requirements for our elections and have already served the court diligently with impartiality and independence,” Rycroft said. PTI