Following the re-election of Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice, India’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to UN Syed Akbaruddin said that it was a historic victory and praised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affaris Minister Sushma Swaraj.
"This is a massive victory for the entire country, not just a group of diplomats who were trying to work here in New York. The victory led by our political leadership. Last few days EAM Sushma Swaraj has been leading the diplomatic attack. She, along with foreign secretary, has been in touch with numerous foreign ministers to try and build support for India," Akbaruddin said in an exclusive interview with Republic TV.
The elections were held after United Kingdom, in a dramatic turn of events, withdrew out of the race for the Hague-based ICJ, thus paving the way for Bhandari's re- election to the prestigious world court.
"It is historic because never has a UNSC member lost to a country which is not a permanent member of UNSC. It has never happened in the history of UN. There was an attempt to divert the democratic process and instead setup a small group which India certainly can never go along with. We are a democracy, we abide by norms of democracy," Akbaruddin pointed out.
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.
"We were willing to contact this and may the best representative win. That is what finally carried us through. India stood up for values of democracy, of pluralism, broad based multilateral rather than a group or a cabal which will decide who should decide who would be our representative. India can no longer be taken for granted. Let’s leave bygones as bygones," he added.
Britain's withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN's most powerful court for the first time in its history.