Justice Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to ICJ, in yet another big win for India

Express News

Justice Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election to International Court of Justice (ICJ) makes his the third Indian, after Neeru Chadha and Soumya Swaminathan, to protect a prominent position in United Nations.

By Associated Press|Updated: November 21, 2017

Justice Dalveer Bhandari was declared elected for a fresh term at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood late on Monday. Image: HT

New Delhi: Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) overnight Tuesday, making him the 3rd Indian to protect a prominent position in a United Nations (UN) body in current months.

International law expert Neeru Chadha was elected to the UN body, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), in Hamburg in June. And last month, Soumya Swaminathan, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was selected deputy director general for programmes at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

Other Indians in key positions in the UN system include former diplomat Lakshmi Puri who is assistant secretary-general for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Another former Indian diplomat Atul Khare is currently the UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support.

Bhandari, 70, was declared chosen for a fresh term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood late on Monday with more than two-thirds of the UN General Assembly members backing the Indian prospect. He received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the ICJ.

The election was a tough fought fight– eleven rounds of balloting were accepted Bhandari winning in the General Assembly and Greenwood in the Security Council vote.

“It is for the very first time that a candidate from a permanent member of the UN Security Council (P-5) has not discovered a seat at the ICJ,” said a person knowledgeable about the development. “The scale of the triumph shows that India had assistance cutting across geographical areas,” the individual said, adding: “It reveals the will of the General Assembly prevailed over that of the Security Council” where the British prospect had support, the individual included.

Experts say the election result was crucial for India to gauge the assistance it enjoys worldwide body where New Delhi has been campaigning for reforms, including an irreversible seat for itself in the powerful Security Council.

The Indian foreign ministry had over the past few weeks lobbied difficult with nations to guarantee Bhandari secures a two-thirds majority win. Envoys stationed in New Delhi were employed by the foreign office to look for assurances that they would elect Bhandari, a 2nd person stated. This effort was shored up by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and ministers of state V.K. Singh and M.J. Akbar, who phoned their counterparts abroad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also cracked in, lobbying for Bhandari with leaders he fulfilled over the previous weeks, the second individual said.

“There were demarches served to particular foreign offices by Indian envoys stationed in different countries. The entire system worked like a well-oiled maker to provide the results,” this person added.

Bhandari is the 4th Indian judge to be elected to the ICJ after B.N. Rau, Nagendra Singh and R.S. Pathak.