USA congratulates Bhandari on ICJ re-election

India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin speaks during a reception in the honour of Justice Dalveer Bhandari at the UN in New York

Justice Dalveer Bhandari, who returns to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a second term after a hard-fought battle with the United Kingdom, said on Tuesday his re-election was a victory for India and all Indians.

Justice Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council in the 12th round of voting at the United Nations headquarters in NY.

Earlier, Britain's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it chose to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.

According to observers, Bhandari's victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Times in an editorial said that India's acting high commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik reiterated that diplomats of both countries had been in contact with each other, which reflects the strong bond between the two. The UK was trying to invoke a mechanism of UN General Assembly and Security Council Joint Conference, which has never been used in the history of ICJ election.

For Britain, it was a humiliating diplomatic blow as it felt compelled to announce the withdrawal of its nominee Christopher Greenwood, who had already served one nine-year term, given the fact that it is the first time since 1946 that there would be no British judge on the ICJ Bench. "Our deep gratitude to all the members of UNGA as well as UNSC for their support and trust in India".

Officials say Justice Bhandari's election alters balance in the ICJ and strengthens India's case for reforms in the United Nations system.

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"Vande Matram - India wins election to the International Court of Justice". Ever since Bhandari's candidature was filed in June MEA had put in relentless efforts to clinch victory in what was a cliff hanger.

"On one level, this reflects a shift in the balance of power at the United Nations away from the Security Council".

PM Narendra Modi tweeted, "Congratulations to EAM @SushmaSwaraj and her entire team at MEA & diplomatic missions for their untiring efforts that have led to India's re-election to ICJ".

"We thank all those Governments who supported India in this election", the Ministry of External Affairs said in its statement.

Speaking to the media, Sharma said, "We are happy that India's candidate Justice Dalveer Bhandari has finally managed to get a second term to ICJ".

In 2011, India had failed to put up a candidate for the Asian group vacancy that had come up with the retirement of the Japanese justice, and rectified the miss only in 2012, when a by-election came up, and Justice Bhandari was named.

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.

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