Securing the highest number of votes among all the other candidates to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR), India has successfully earned its place after a long wait. For the Asia-Pacific Region, there were five vacancies to be filled up, and India was among Bangladesh, Bahrain, Fiji and Philippines who contested for the seat.
Ahead of the election, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had tweeted that “Pitching together. Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, India & the Philippines stake claim to 5 seats for Asia-Pacific region at Human Rights Council elections.”
As per the reports by PTI, The elections for selecting new members to UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) were held at the United Nations in which the 193-members of the UN General Assembly took part. A total of 18 new members were elected by the absolute majority through a secret ballot.
Since the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, had asked the Council to look into initiating a probe into the possible human rights violations in Kashmir valley, this election victory has proved to be really important for India. This demand was repeated by his successor, Michelle Bachelet, as well, and Pakistan is ensuring that they lobby to smear the name of India, alleging that the country engages in abuse of human rights, Times Now reported.
A minimum of 97 votes were needed by a country to get elected to the Council. India was vying for a seat in the Asia Pacific category. India’s election to the Council was all but certain as there were only five nations vying for the five seats in the Asia Pacific category.
India was represented at the Commission in 2006 for a period of one year, and then we secured three-year terms in 2007, 2011 and 2014. India has secured a whopping 188 votes out of 193, the highest among all contesting candidates. Currently, China, Pakistan and Nepal are still serving their three-year terms at the Commission.
Created by the Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council comprises 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.
Student Reporter- INBA