US congratulates Dalveer Bhandari on his re-election to ICJ, but opposes change of UNSC veto

Washington: The US has congratulated Justice Dalveer Bhandari for his re-election to the ICJ, but asserted that it is against any change in the current veto structure of the UN Security Council, even as it favours a modest expansion of the 15-membered body.

File image of Judge Dalveer Bhandari. News18

File image of Judge Dalveer Bhandari. News18

India's Dalveer Bhandari was on Wednesday re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama in the hard-fought race to the world court.

Responding to questions on reform of the 15-member apex wing of the world body, a State Department spokesperson said: The United States remains open in principle to the idea of UN Security Council reform, including a modest expansion of the Security Council.

"We believe a reformed council must reflect the realities of the 21st century and be able to meet the challenges of this century with enhanced — and not diminished — effectiveness and efficiency. To this end, we remain opposed to any alteration or expansion of the veto," the spokesperson told PTI.

The spokesperson was asked about reform of the UNSC in view of the differences that emerged between the General Assembly and the Security Council during the just concluded election to the ICJ.

For the last remaining seat, the General Assembly and the UNSC had to carry 11 round of voting before judge Christopher Greenwood from Britain withdrew from the race, leaving India's nominee Bhandari to be re-elected for a nine-year term.

"We congratulate Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India for his re-election to the International Court of Justice, as well as the other candidates who were elected or re-elected...," the spokesperson said, thanking Judge Greenwood for his service to the ICJ.

However, the official refused to comment on the 11 rounds of voting.

"We're not going to comment on the prior rounds of voting. In the end, Judge Bhandari received the unanimous support of the UNSC and an absolute majority in the UN General Assembly for his re-election to the ICJ," the spokesperson said.

Updated Date: Nov 22, 2017 08:57 AM

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