In what could be termed as a big win, India's nominee Dalveer Bhandari was today re-elected to the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election.
Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Britain lost a seat on the International Court of Justice on Monday for the first time since the tribunal started work in 1946, a setback seen by some diplomats and commentators as the result of waning international influence following its vote to leave the European Union.
Bhandari and Britain's Christopher Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the ICJ. The permanent members of the Security Council -- the US, Russia, France and China -- were understood to have been throwing their weight behind Greenwood. Britain is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council.
After four rounds of voting, Ronny Abraham of France, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia, Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade of Brazil and Nawaf Salam of Lebanon were elected on Thursday by required majorities in both the General Assembly and Security Council.
Britain's Christopher Greenwood and India's Dalveer Bhandari, both running for re-election to the court, were forced into a runoff for the fifth seat because Greenwood had the required majority in the 15-member Security Council while Bhandari topped the vote in the 193-member General Assembly.
But Bhandari's support was gaining while Greenwood's was diminishing, apparently leading the British judge to drop out.
The 15-member International Court of Justice is the United Nations top judicial organ and its job is to settle disputes between countries.
Five judges are elected every three years and serve for nine years.
PM Modi lauds MEA for Bhandari's ICJ re-election
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday congratulated External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her department for Justice Dalveer Bhandari's re-election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"Congratulations to Sushma Swaraj and her entire team at MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and diplomatic missions for their untiring efforts that have led to India's re-election to ICJ," the Prime Minister tweeted.
He also thanked the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). "Our deep gratitude to all the members of UNGA as well as UNSC for their support and trust in India," he wrote on Twitter.
In another tweet, he wished Bhandari for the achievement. "I congratulate Justice Dalveer Bhandari on being re-elected to the International Court of Justice. His re-election is a proud moment for us," he said.
WATCH VIDEO | India's Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to world court as Britain bows to UN majority