Photo from ICJ website
MANILA – Malacañang on Monday supported Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s order to the country’s mission to the United Nations (UN) to vote for China’s candidate to fill one of the five seats at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that will become vacant next year.
China’s candidate is Judge Xue Hanqin, who is also the vice president of the ICJ, also known as the World Court.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Xue has “proven competence, probity and integrity”.
“Judge Xue is one of the founders of the Asian Society of International Law and was also one my predecessors as President of the Asian Society of International Law,” Roque said.
He said support for China’s candidate is a manifestation of close ties between the Philippines and China.
“Of course, the support given to the Chinese candidate is number one because of the proven track record of Judge Xue who is already a sitting ICJ judge, and also, a further manifestation of the very close relationship between the Philippines and China,” he added.
He also said that Xue is also one of his “closest friends”.
Last Sunday, Locsin instructed the country’s mission to UN to “cast the Philippine vote for the Chinese candidate to the international court of justice”.
The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the UN, is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
Judges are eligible for re-election.
According to the UN, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.
On November 11, elections will be held at the UN headquarters in New York. The winners would fill up the five seats to be available on Feb. 5, 2021.
Aside from Xue, incumbents seeking reelection are Peter Tomka from Slovakia, Yuji Iwasawa from Japan, and Julia Sebutinde from Uganda.
Others who are vying for ICJ seats are Olufemi Elias from Nigeria, Georg Nolte from Germany, Maja Seršićf from Croatia, and Emmanuel Ugirashebuja from Rwanda. (PNA)