8773rd Meeting (PM)

Security Council Unable to Fill 5 Open International Court of Justice Seats after First Round, Voting Continues on 12 November

The Security Council, meeting independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly in an initial round of voting today, was not yet able to fill five open seats on the International Court of Justice.

In the election, eight candidates are vying for five positions, each of which carries a nine-year term beginning on 6 February 2021.  Four are current members of the International Court of Justice:  Hanqin Xue (China), the Court’s incumbent Vice‑President; Peter Tomka (Slovakia); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda); and Yuji Iwasawa (Japan).  The other four candidates are Taoheed Olufemi Elias (Nigeria), Georg Nolte (Germany), Maja Seršić (Croatia) and Emmanuel Ugirashebuja (Rwanda).

Voting took place simultaneously in the Security Council and the General Assembly.  After the first round, no candidate obtained enough votes in each organ for election to the Court.  With in-person meetings at United Nations Headquarters currently being held under strict protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all subsequent rounds of voting are scheduled for Thursday, 12 November, in both the Council and the Assembly.

Under the Statute of the International Court of Justice, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both bodies is considered elected.  In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority and no distinction is made between permanent and non-permanent Council members.  By contrast, all 193 Member States in the General Assembly are electors.  Accordingly, for the purpose of today’s election, 97 votes constituted an absolute majority in the Assembly.  (For today’s General Assembly results, see Press Release GA/12284.)

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m., suspended at 3:31 p.m., resumed briefly at 5:02 p.m. and suspended again at 5:03 p.m.

For information media. Not an official record.