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Explained: Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election bid to ICJ | India News

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NEW DELHI: The ongoing stalemate over the Dalveer Bhandari election in the UN has shown two things — first, the inexorable shift of power to countries like India and second, the extreme reluctance of the ancient regime to accept the change.

In the 70 years of the UN’s existence, never has a candidate belonging to the elite P-5 group been absent from the world court.

The battle between the last two candidates left in the field, Dalveer Bhandari of India and Christopher Greenwood of the UK is symptomatic of this global tension.

After the last round of balloting, Bhandari logged 121 votes in the UNGA, moving up from 116 in the last round, a tribute to India’s sustained multilateral diplomacy. Greenwood reduced his numbers from 76 to 68. However, in the UN Security Council, India lags six votes to Greenwood’s nine.

This number has been unchanged and is important for a couple of things: first, India has not lost the support it has already gathered, and second, the P5 are unlikely to abandon one of their own.

In normal circumstances, the evident momentum in Bhandari’s favour should have been able to swing one or two Security Council votes towards him. But the P-5 have not budged from their positions. But the very fact that India, a non-P5 has prevented a sweep by the UK tells of an unfolding inevitability — if not Bhandari, India has shown that the P5 glass ceiling cannot possibly sustain for too long.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept up a sustained campaign for Bhandari’s re-election, having raised it at various summit meetings with key UNSC members. But as India discovered during the NSG admission process, breaking the status quo will remain an uphill task for some time to come.

Tweeting on the subject, Shashi Tharoor wrote, “As the UN Security Council(SC) and General Assembly(GA) vote to choose a judge for the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) between Indian and UK candidates, the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN are at stake. The voice of the GA has been ignored too long.” Continuing, he said, “This time a nominee of a permanent member of the Security Council has failed to get an absolute majority of the GA, for the first time in a direct contest to a major UN organ. GA vote has turned into a protest against an unwarranted extension of privilege for 70+ years. P5 lost by 40votes!”

In order to be elected to the ICJ, a candidate must obtain simple majority in the both the organs of the UN. That is to say, a successful candidate must get 97 votes in the General Assembly and 8 votes in the Security Council. With the impasse on, the decision will be deferred and a consultation has been scheduled in a few days.

Updated: November 14, 2017 — 2:57 pm

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