India Wins UN Human Rights Council with Highest VotesTop Stories

October 13, 2018 10:48
India Wins UN Human Rights Council with Highest Votes

(Image source from: India TV)

India on Friday has been elected to the United Nations' top human rights body in the Asia-Pacific category for a time period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, attaining 188 votes, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

The new members to the UN Human Rights Council were designated by 193-member UN General Assembly. The 18 new members were elected by the total majority through a secret ballot. Countries required a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.

Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, and the Philippines has as well staked a claim in the similar regional group.

Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj shared the information on Twitter saying, "I am happy to inform that India has been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council with the highest number of votes. We have secured 188 votes out of 193."

Following the election, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told PTI that India's win with the highest number of votes "reflects India's standing in the international comity."

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

India had earlier been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 time period. Its previous tenancy had ended on December 31, 2017, and in agreement with the rules, it was not entitled to instant re-election since it had by now served two consecutive terms.

Shaped by the Assembly in March 2006 as the chief United Nations body dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council encompasses 47 elected Member States.

On the base of reasonable geographical distribution, Council seats are assigned to the five regional groups as follows: Asia Pacific States, 13 seats; the African States, 13 seats; the Eastern European States, 6 seats; Western European and other States, 7 seats, and Latin American and Caribbean States, 8 seats;

The new members elected Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia and Togo in the African States category, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic in the Eastern European States group, Argentina, Bahamas and Uruguay in the Latin American and Caribbean States group and Austria, Denmark and Italy in the Western European and other States category.

Commenting on the elections, rights group Human Rights Watch said "In ridiculous vote devoid of competition, UN General Assembly elected #Philippines, #Eritrea, #Bahrain & #Cameroon to be among new members of @UN#HumanRights Council in 2019-2021. Such votes make a mockery of word 'election'.

It said Human Rights Council member states should seek to neutralize any attempts by its "worst members to shield themselves and other serial rights abusers & keep doing good work on #Yemen, #Myanmar, #Syria, #Burundi & other crises."

-Sowmya Sangam

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