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Neeru Chadha becomes 1st Indian woman as member of ITLOS

United Nations: In a significant victory for India at the UN, international law expert Neeru Chadha has won a crucial election to a top UN judicial body that deals with disputes related to the law of the sea, becoming the first Indian woman to be appointed as a judge at the tribunal.

Chadha, an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the chief legal adviser in the ministry of external affairs, won the election yesterday to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for a nine-year term from 2017 to 2026.

Chadha got 120 votes, the highest in the Asia Pacific group and was elected in the first round of voting itself. The candidate from Indonesia got 58 votes, Lebanon 60 and Thailand 86.

All three candidates went to a second round of voting in which Thailand won the other seat in the Asia Pacific group.

Election was held here for a total of seven seats.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin expressed gratitude for the broad support of countries that resulted in Chadha’s “emphatic success” at the elections to the ITLOS.

“It reflects both an appreciation of India’s global standing in matters of international law and the recognition for Chadha’s expertise as a lawyer and negotiator on contemporary issues related to the Law of the Seas,” Akbaruddin told

PTI