India Elected To UN Human Rights Council For 3 Years

India Elected To UN Human Rights Council For 3 Years

India Elected To UN Human Rights Council For 3 Years 

New Delhi: The United Nations' top human rights body has elected India for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019. India which was in the Asia-Pacific category, garnered 188 votes, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

The elections were held by the 193-member UN General Assembly, for new members to the UN Human Rights Council. The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.

India ad been eyeing for a seat in the Asia Pacific category. Apart from India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines had also staked a claim in the same regional group. Given that there were five nations vying for five seats in the Asia Pacific category, India's election to the Council was all but certain.

Syed Akbaruddin, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador, told PTI that India's win reflects the country's standing in the international community.

Following the election, Mr Akbaruddin tweeted "Voting for a Happy Outcome. Thanks to the support of all our friends @UN , India wins seat to Human Rights Council with highest votes among all candidates."

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The newly eleceted members will serve a term of three years commencing from January 1, 2019. Previously India had been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 term. On December 31, 2017, its last tenure had ended and as per the rules, it was not eligible for immediate re-election since it had already served two consecutive terms.

The Human Rights Council was created by the Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights. It consists of 47 elected Member States. On the basis of equitable geographical distribution, Council seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows: African States, 13 seats; Asia-Pacific States, 13 seats; Eastern European States, 6 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States, 8 seats; and Western European and other States, 7 seats.

All five of the General Assembly's regional groups had submitted competition-free slates, meaning that all candidates, regardless of their rights records, were virtually assured seats on the council.

On the eve of the elections, rights group Human Rights Watch had said UN member countries should oppose the candidacies of the Philippines and Eritrea for the Human Rights Council because of their "egregious human rights records".

It said that, serious rights violations in Bahrain and Cameroon also raise significant concerns,

Michelle Bachelet, the Former President of Chile assumed the role of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September this year, succeeding Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who had in June this year released a first ever report on Kashmir that was rejected by India.

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