India wins election to UN Human Rights Council in Asia-Pacific category

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council in Asia-Pacific category”

Candidates needed at least 97 votes to get elected. India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 term.

"Our successful bid to keep our seat in the Council is proof that many in the worldwide community remain convinced the Philippines respects and protects human rights and have seen through the efforts of some to politicize and weaponize the issue", former Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

The US, which withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in June describing it as "hypocritical and self-serving" as well as a "cesspoll of political bias", also criticised the latest election.

India will be among the 13 members that represent the Asia-Pacific region on the council.

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

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.

"For its part, CHR will continue to perform its mandate of helping United Nations monitor the human rights situation on the ground as the country's independent national human rights institution", she said.

The 18 new members were selected from five regional blocs of countries, and their elections were largely predetermined since they were not challenged by other countries.

"Earning a seat in the said Council, however, puts pressure on the Philippine government to address numerous allegations of human rights violations, starting with the growing cases of extrajudicial killings purportedly linked to the government's campaign against illegal drugs", she added.

"UN member countries should show their outrage at the Philippines and Eritrea by leaving two spots on the ballot sheet blank and keeping them off the council", said Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch.

"Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's abusive "war on drugs" has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead", the HRW claimed. "More importantly, the United States will continue to be the world's human rights leader regardless of the suspect composition and poor decisions of the Human Rights Council".

India's position on Kashmir, the Rohingya, Non Registered Citizens of Assam, or many other groups aside, this election places the country next to a group of bad boys.

De Guia said the CHR will continue to help the United Nations monitor the human rights situation in the Philippines. A United Nations commission of inquiry in recent years found widespread human rights abuses, including forced labor.

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