ICJ election: India aiming for two-thirds majority for Dalveer Bhandari at UNGA

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ICJ election: India aiming for two-thirds majority for Dalveer Bhandari at UNGA

India's primary focus is to secure a two-thirds majority for its candidate Dalveer Bhandari at UNGA, achieving a moral high ground as opposed to the UNSC where British candidate Christopher Greenwood has a majority.

Ahead of the the elections to appoint the fifth judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), India has been lobbying hard with diplomats in New Delhi. Ministry of External Affairs officials met envoys of various embassies in separate meetings to end the deadlock at the United Nations (UN) in electing its fifth judge at ICJ.

The ambassador of Thailand to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi, in an interview to Mail Today, said that he met MEA officials and India's primary focus is to secure a two-thirds majority for its candidate Dalveer Bhandari at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), achieving a moral high ground as opposed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) where the British candidate Christopher Greenwood has a majority.

"In this situation it is little difficult because you have the UNSC where one candidate has a majority and then you have the UNGA, where India has a majority but is seeking a two-thirds majority which is the standard by which a decision is carried. I think at the very least there would be some discussion on moral considerations," the envoy said.

He also emphasised on the importance India was attaching to tying this issue with UN reforms and the fight between the P5 and the rest of the world (RoW). Ambassador Chutintorn said that the message being conveyed to representatives of developing nations is, "it is our fight".

Highly placed sources in the Indian government said that the main objective of the exercise is to "make sure we win". India's focus is to get a two-thirds majority at the UNGA and also more crucially, to gain two more seats at the UNSC. Convert the one abstention and ween away one more onto the Indian side so that India gets eight seats at the UNSC and wins, the source said.

The Thai envoy also reiterated the same thoughts as that of the Indian official that a two-thirds majority would bring the discussion back to the need for UN reforms that reflects the changed world order of today. "I think it shows that all this is tied to UN reforms. Global governance has changed and now people have been calling for UN reforms as well. The decision being made based on who is member of the Security Council and who is not does not reflect key values of a democracy," said the envoy.

For any candidate to win the election, he would have to secure 97 votes at the UNGA and at least 8 votes at the UNSC. Mail Today has learnt that the President of UN General Assembly and President the UN Security Council had a meeting to deliberate on how to break the deadlock. The world body is also trying to work out a solution ahead of the next election, which will be held on Monday