12 November 2020
8773rd Meeting (Resumed) (PM)

Security Council Elects 5 Judges to International Court of Justice after Single Round of Voting

Out of 8 Candidates, 4 Re-elected to Further Nine-Year Terms in Office

The Security Council, meeting independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly today, elected five judges to the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms beginning on 6 February 2021.

Of the eight candidates contesting the five seats, four are current members of the Court:  Hanqin Xue (China), the incumbent Vice-President; Peter Tomka (Slovakia); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda); and Yuji Iwasawa (Japan).  The four other candidates were Taoheed Olufemi Elias (Nigeria), Georg Nolte (Germany), Maja Seršić (Croatia) and Emmanuel Ugirashebuja (Rwanda).

After a single round of voting, the Council re‑elected Mr. Iwasawa (Japan), Mr. Tomka (Slovakia), Ms. Xue (China) and Ms. Sebutinde (Uganda), also selecting Mr. Nolte (Germany).

Voting took place simultaneously in the Security Council and the General Assembly on 11 and 12 November.  (For 11 November coverage, please see Press Release SC/14353.)  Under the Statute of the International Court of Justice, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both organs is considered elected.  In the Council, eight votes constitute an absolute majority, with no distinction between permanent and non-permanent members.  By contrast, all 193 Member States in the Assembly are electors and accordingly, for the purpose of today’s election, 97 votes constituted an absolute majority.  (For General Assembly results, see Press Release GA/12285.)

The Court’s composition on 6 February 2021 will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parentheses):  Ronny Abraham (France) (2027); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco) (2024); Dalveer Bhandari (India) (2027); Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) (2027); James Richard Crawford (Australia) (2024); Joan E. Donoghue (United States) (2024); Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation) (2024); Xue Hanqin (China) (2030); Yuji Iwasawa (Japan) (2030); Georg Nolte (Germany) (2030); Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica) (2024); Nawaf Salam (Lebanon) (2027); Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) (2030); Peter Tomka (Slovakia) (2030); and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) (2027).

Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.  Composed of 15 judges, it adjudicates between States and its legal opinions are binding.  The Court also issues non-binding advisory opinions when requested to do so.

The meeting resumed at 12:45 p.m. and ended at 12:50 p.m.

First Round of Voting

Results of the first round of voting were as follows:

Number of ballot papers:


Number of invalid ballots:


Number of valid ballots:


Number of abstentions:


Required majority:


Number of votes obtained:


Taoheed Olufemi Elias (Nigeria):


Yuji Iwasawa (Japan):


Georg Nolte (Germany):


Julia Sebutinde (Uganda):


Maja Seršić (Croatia):


Peter Tomka (Slovakia):


Emmanuel Ugirashebuja (Rwanda):


Hanqin Xue (China):


As the meeting resumed, Inga Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), Council President for November, announced the election of Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Georg Nolte (Germany), Julia Sebutinde (Uganda), Peter Tomka (Slovakia) and Hanqin Xue (China) to the International Court of Justice, having obtained the required majorities in both the Council and the General Assembly.

For information media. Not an official record.