Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

India elected to UNHRC securing maximum votes

India elected to UNHRC securing maximum votes

The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections in United Nations for new members to the UNHRC.

Residents and activists chant slogans during the funeral procession of Kian Loyd Delos Santos in Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 26, 2017.

The US quit the council in June, saying it made a mockery of human rights.

"The Trump administration's withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy: defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else", executive director Kenneth Roth said. Bangladesh is among the five countries elected from the Asia and Pacific region for three years from January, 2018.

Eighteen countries, ranging from India to the Bahamas to Denmark, were chosen in a UN General Assembly vote.

On the 47-member Council the seats are allocated based on "equitable regional distribution" giving the Asia-Pacific region a total of 13 seats, with some coming up for election every year. Those countries will join other countries with poor human rights records, such as Cuba, China, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, on the world's top human rights body. Bahrain insists its criminal trials were independent and transparent.

"Only this year the government of 36-year ruler Paul Biya has been found burning villages in the Anglophone areas of the country, disappearing political opponents, and summarily executing women and children, on film", he said. The government said the allegations were unfounded and one-sided.

In June, a spokesman dismissed similar accusations in an Amnesty International report as "filthy lies" meant to destabilise the country.

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

Outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Nicki Haley, said on Friday that "this lack of standards continues to undermine the organisation and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year".

The body is tasked with promoting and monitoring human rights.

In June, Ms Haley described the council as a "cesspool of political bias" that displayed unending hostility towards Israel - a close United States ally.

The body was created in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights which was discredited by governments and aid organisations because of the presence of human rights violators.

"A vote of 165 out of the 192 votes cast by Member-States is a recognition that our government respects human rights and will not tolerate abuse by those in authority", Panelo said in a statement issued on Saturday.

"Getting a seat in the UN Human Rights Council is a repudiation of the critics and detractors on President Duterte's unrelenting war against illegal drugs", he said.

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