Indian lawyer elected to UN’s International Law Commission

Geneva, Nov 4 (IANS) In a rare achievement, a 33-year-old Indian lawyer has got elected to the UN International Law Commission, bagging the highest number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group.

Aniruddha Rajput is among 34 individuals elected by the UN General Assembly as members of the International Law Commission, that is tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification.

Rajput got 160 votes, topping the Asia Pacific group in voting that was held through secret ballot on Thursday.

The candidate from Japan, came second with 148 votes, followed by Jordan with 146, China 146, South Korea 136, Qatar 128 and Vietnam 120 votes — who were all elected. However, candidates from Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran failed to get elected.

A practicising lawyer of India’s Supreme Court, Rajput is also the first Indian nominee chosen from outside a close circle of lawyers of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The five-year term of the newly elected members will commence from January 2017. The members to the Geneva-based body have been elected from five geographical groupings of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean and Western Europe.

In response to a congratulatory tweet by Singapore’s Ambassador to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor on Rajput’s election, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin replied: “We are deeply appreciative of support extended by many, many friends of India to ensure Rajput’s election by a huge margin.”