Britain has congratulated Justice Dalveer Bhandari on being re-elected to the International Court of Justice and said it will continue to cooperate closely with India at the United Nations and globally. Bhandari was today re-elected to the last seat of the Hague-based ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election. India’s nominee 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. Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it decided to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.
“The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” he said. Britain, he said, congratulates the successful candidates, including Judge Bhandari of India. Earlier, it appeared that there was a neck-and-neck contest between Bhandari and Greenwood. “We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates,” Rycroft said.
“If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said. Rycroft said that the UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, “in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally”. Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.