10 July 2019
Seventy-third Session, 98th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Appoints Four Judges to United Nations Dispute Tribunal, Accredits Major Group Organizations to Participate in Small Island Developing States’ Review

The General Assembly today elected by secret ballot Francis Belle (Barbados), Rachel Sikwese (Malawi), Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell (Trinidad and Tobago) and Margaret Tibulya (Uganda) to serve half-time terms of office on the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, each for seven years beginning immediately, while also deciding to endorse the accreditation of several major group organizations to participate in a review of the United Nations overarching development strategy for small-island States.

The four elected judges will serve on one of two entities — the other being the United Nations Appeals Tribunal — that comprise the Organization’s system of the administration of justice for employment-related disputes.  Half-time judges on the Dispute Tribunal are deployed up to a cumulative period of six months per year, as decided by the President based on the caseload and any judicial absences affecting the work of the Tribunal.

Through resolution 62/228, adopted in 2007, the Assembly decided that it will appoint judges to those tribunals based on the recommendation of the Internal Justice Council.  As such, the judges elected today were selected from a circulated list of candidates recommended by the Council (documents A/73/911 and A/73/911/Corr.1).  Also before the Assembly was a related memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/73/917).

Per a recent amendment to the Tribunal’s statute, the judges were elected in line with the Assembly’s approval, in resolution 73/276 of 2018, of the addition of four half-time judges in lieu of three ad litem positions in the Dispute Tribunal.  By the same resolution, the Assembly decided not to extend the ad litem position in New York beyond 31 December 2018 and to extend the ad litem positions in Geneva and Nairobi, pending the nomination of candidates by the Council and the appointment of the aforementioned half-time judges by the Assembly.

To be eligible for appointment as a judge to the Dispute Tribunal, candidates must be of high moral character and impartial; possess at least 10 years of judicial experience in the field of administrative law or the equivalent within one or more national jurisdictions; and be fluent, both orally and in writing, in English or French.

In other business, the Assembly adopted the draft decision “Accreditation of relevant major groups organizations in the high-level review of the SIDS [small island developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway” (document A/73/L.98).  In doing so, it decided to endorse the Secretariat’s recommendations for the accreditation of major groups organizations not in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council but wishing to participate in the high-level review, slated to take place in New York in September.

The Assembly will reconvene in plenary at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 16 July.

Results for Vote to Fill Half-Time Vacancies on Dispute Tribunal

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Margaret Tibulya (Uganda):


Rachel Sikwese (Malawi):


Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell (Trinidad and Tobago):


Francis Belle (Barbados):


Cristiane Souza de Castro Toledo (Brazil):


Heinrich Glasser (Germany):


Ole Jan van Leeuwen (Netherlands):


For information media. Not an official record.