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PH reelection to United Nations rights council 'condemnable,' puts 'pressure on govt'

15 October 2018

The UN General Assembly on Friday elected 18 members into the Human Rights Council, a Geneva-based intergovernmental body within the UN system.

"Thanks to the support of all our friends @UN, India wins seat to Human Rights Council with highest votes among all candidates", Akbaruddin tweeted.

The outgoing Foreign Affairs chief welcomed this development, saying "Our successful bid to keep our seat in the Council is proof that many in the global community remain convinced the Philippines respects and protects human rights and have seen through the efforts of some to politicize and weaponize the issue".

When it nominated itself for the Council, India showcased its position as "the world's largest democracy (and) India's secular polity". We feel grateful to all the friends in United Nations for their support.

"This (the UNHRC seat) signals the world has accepted India's credentials as a sentinel of human rights".

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In a statement after Friday's elections, Haley said the uncontested election "demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw" from the council, though she said the US would continue to press for institutional reform of the council from the sidelines.

The new members of the Indian contingent will serve a term of three years beginning January 1, 2019. Its keep going residency had finished on December 31, 2017 and as per the tenets, it was not qualified for prompt re-appointment since it had just served two successive terms.

Bahrain has gathered 165 votes for, the Cameroon 176 votes, and the Philippines 165 votes.

India will join Pakistan, China and Nepal, which were elected to the Council in previous years.

India was vying for a seat in the Asia-Pacific category. A minimum of 97 votes were needed by a country to get elected to the Council.

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In the nomination pledge, India presented a broader approach to human rights, emphasising climate justice, health and poverty alleviation.

India got elected again in 2007, 2011, and 2014 to three-year-terms.

While many countries are celebrating India's inclusion in the UNHRC, which is responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights across the world, the council has received flaks from several quarters over the way countries with very poor human rights records are being inducted uncontested owing to lack of competition in the electoral process.

Seats in the 47-member Council are allocated based on "equitable regional distribution" leaving Asia Pacific region 13 seats.

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PH reelection to United Nations rights council 'condemnable,' puts 'pressure on govt'