India Trumps UK at ICJ
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
In news: India won a major diplomatic battle at the International Court of Justice when Justice Dalveer Bhandari was elected final judge at ICJ after defeating UK which always had a place in ICJ since its establishment.
Though it might be a small thing amongst the large geopolitical battles underway currently, this battle between UK and India was a test of loyalties of old friends and new relationships established. In a new model, three people from UNSC and three people from UNGA were opted to choose for post of ICJ. However, the members developed cold feet as these members will have to go through open voting and their so called ‘support’ to both the countries would have been exposed. Once this was declared, UK had decided to withdraw and India emerged as winner as in the initial round; India got more votes in UNGA.
Why UK withdrew?
UK is facing tough time post brexit. The forces of international council are shifting and it is clearly visible. UK could have demanded a joint conference to break the deadlock but it decided otherwise and withdrew citing ‘close ties’ with India and its support to India in UN.
UK has formulated good partnership with china and India. Once UK is cut off from European institutions, they will be obliged to find international partners. Thus, UK is not meandering into possible danger zones which might lead to future challenges.
India and UN agencies
In 1996, India suffered a humiliating defeat at hands of japan in the election in UNSC where India got only 40 votes out of 181. The tide turned in 2010 when India got selected in UNSC after 19 years with 187 votes out of 192.
India has in terms of international organizations has become once again a crucial country. Many countries lately have given bilateral support to have permanent membership in UNSC or have strategic partnership with India.
India has been actively participating in the peacekeeping process of UN. It has high reputation with regards to international cooperation and partnership. Also, India has been growing rapidly on economic front. It has abided by decisions taken by ICJ or has approached ICJ only when it thought it should, for example- maritime boundary dispute with Bangladesh.
Importance of ICJ
In this era of globalization, ICJ plays a significant role. This has more of symbolic role than actual role. ICJ operates on basis of jurisdiction on basis of parties. In this climate of globalization, ICJ exercises lot of authority and its decision.
It is not like a domestic court where every decision would be binding. It is by protocol of an option. But if the two countries sign that they give the jurisdiction to ICJ, then the decision of ICJ would be binding. For example, India and Pakistan went to ICJ over jadhav case. ICJ granted a significant interim stay which is binding on Pakistan and effect of it can be seen in its behavior in this case.
ICJ plays a legal and a morale role also. India now being a fastest growing economy in world and an important part of Asia with 21st century being century of Asia, its impact can be reflected in international order. For instance, in 1950 after WWII, Europe was a significant power. UK, France, Russia commanded strong power and hence they had significant influence and impact in such multilateral forums. Today, Asia is a bigger and stronger continent, so it demands to be fairly and adequately represented. Hence, there is really a change in world order in that sense and the world order is truly reflecting ground realities.
Dynamism of relationships
Out of the countries to decide, three were India’s new friends- US, France and Japan. As India is the new emerging power, the election was a truth meter to gauge the substance in the new ‘strategic partnerships’ it formulated over last few months. In the UN, everything is tradeoff. The victories that are achieved in UN since 2010 UNSC election should be continued by India by using its networking capabilities to proceed with the permanent membership of Security Council.
New equations are emerging, including Russia, India, China partnership, BRICS etc. The new Quad which has re-emerged recently has also pointed towards new development in Asia where it says that Asia cannot be dominated by only one country but others want a peaceful Asia where everybody can have a voice as per international rules and regulations. The developed countries feel that there should be a peaceful, balanced Asia abiding by international rules and regulations with more transparency.
Now in the international community, there are many countries which pay attention to what India has to say and offer. This is possible because today Indian diplomacy is free of ideological constraints. Now it is more self-assured, more confident in its role in international politics.
Connecting the dots:
- Global platforms are a mirror to rising power of ‘Asia and Asian countries’. Analyse with suitable instances.