On 20 September 1999, Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, Registrar of the International Court of Justice, advised Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, President of the Court, by a letter of 17 September 1999 that he would leave office on 5 February 2000. In his letter he stated that having drawn nearer to finishing his own term of duty and having achieved, thirty-five years in the service of the United Nations as well as being about to reach sixty years of age, he found no new reason to compel him to run for a fourth election. Moreover, he stated, that in view of the date of termination of his functions, he concluded that he could best serve the Court by leaving office before the election of the new President. In this manner, whoever is chosen will, likewise, be able to count, throughout the duration of his or her presidential period, on the continuous assistance of one and the same Registrar. By a letter of 20 September 1999, Judge Schwebel, President of the Court, accepted his resignation.