20 November 2017
8110th Meeting (PM)

Security Council, General Assembly Fill Final Vacancy on International Court of Justice

Dalveer Bhandari of India Elected, as United Kingdom Withdraws Candidate

The Security Council this afternoon, meeting independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly, elected Dalveer Bhandari (India) to the International Court of Justice for a nine‑year term, beginning on 6 February 2018.

Under the terms of the Court’s statute, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both organs is considered elected.  In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non‑permanent members of the organ.  By contrast, all 193 Member States in the General Assembly are electors.  Accordingly, for the election, 97 votes constitute an absolute majority in the Assembly.

In the election, six candidates were contesting five positions for nine‑year terms.  Five of the candidates were current members of the International Court of Justice: Ronny Abraham (France), the incumbent President of the body; Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), the incumbent Vice‑President; Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil); Dalveer Bhandari (India); and Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom).  The sixth candidate was Nawaf Salam, currently the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations.

After five rounds of voting on 9 November, the Council re‑elected Mr. Abraham, Mr. Cançado Trindade and Mr. Yusuf to their seats, also selecting Mr. Salam.  For results of that election, see Press Releases SC/13063 and GA/11971.

As Mr. Greenwood received the required majority in the Council, and Mr. Bhandari had acquired the required majority in the Assembly, the organs would need to meet again to conclude the election process.

Continuing the election process on 13 November, in five rounds of voting, Mr. Greenwood acquired the majority in the Council, while Mr. Bhandari acquired the majority in the Assembly.  For results of that election, see Press Releases SC/13064 and GA/11974.

Meeting today, Sebastiano Cardi, Council President for November, informed the 15‑member organ that the United Kingdom had withdrawn the nomination of Mr. Greenwood.

The Court’s composition on 6 February 2018 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses): Ronny Abraham (France) (2027); Dalveer Bhandari (India) (2027); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) (2024); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) (2027); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Joan E. Donoghue (United States) (2024); Giorgio Gaja (Italy) (2021); Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation) (2024); Xue Hanqin (China) (2021); Hisashi Owada (Japan) (2021); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) (2021); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2021); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2027).

Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial body of the United Nations.  Composed of 15 judges, it adjudicates between States, and its legal opinions are binding.  The Court also issues advisory opinions when requested to do so.

The meeting began at 3:32 p.m. and ended at 4:05 p.m.

First Round of Voting

The results of the first round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:


Number of invalid ballots:


Number of valid ballots:


Number of abstentions:


Required majority:


Number of votes obtained:


Dalveer Bhandari (India)



Mr. Bandhari received the absolute majority in the Council.

Mr. Cardi then announced that he had received a letter from the President of the General Assembly informing him that Mr. Bhandari had acquired the required majority in the Assembly.

As the same candidate had received the required absolute majority in both the Council and the Assembly, Mr. Bhandar had been elected to the International Court of Justice for a term of office of nine years, beginning on 6 February 2018.

For information media. Not an official record.