Pakistan elected to UN’s Human Rights Council for 5th time

Pakistan elected to UN’s Human Rights Council for 5th time”

The re-election of countries like China and Pakistan to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) amid opposition from rights groups drew condemnation from various quarters on Wednesday. It also periodically reviews human rights in every United Nations member country.

Human Rights Council terms last three years. China won a seat at the UNHRC by a small margin on Tuesday while Pakistan secured the highest number of votes among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, Nepal's foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali said, "Nepal is re-elected in UN Human Rights Council for the second term with 150 votes".

The Saudi-led invasion of Yemen has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced more than three million people [Ahmad al-Basha/AFP]"If Saudi Arabia succeeds, it will show the world that as long as a state has powerful friends and a limitless public relations budget, it can torture and execute its people, including children, with impunity", he wrote.

However back room deals appear to have ensured Cuba and Russian Federation are running unopposed in their regional blocs while China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will compete with Nepal and Uzbekistan for four seats allocated to Asia.

Amjad Ayub Mirza, an activist from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), said that election of the "world's worst human rights abusers" to the United Nations body will damage its credibility.

Except for the Asia-Pacific contest, the election of 15 members to the 47-member Human Rights Council was all but decided in advance because all the other regional groups had uncontested slates.

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Four countries won four Africa seats: Ivory Coast, Malawi, Gabon and Senegal. Britain and France are seeking the two seats available to the Western European group and those of others. In the Latin American and Caribbean group, Mexico, Cuba and Bolivia won the three open seats. "Nepal would continue to contribute to the work of the Council in promoting an apolitical and impartial approach to human rights through a unique perspective of a land-locked and least developed country striving for socio-economic transformation". "Essentially these are backroom deals that are worked out among the regional groups".

They warned about its mass rights violations in Hong Kong and Tibet and against ethnic Uighurs in the Chinese province of Xinjiang as well as attacks on rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and government critics.

"Since 2006, the council has adopted 90 resolutions condemning Israel, more than all the resolutions against Syria, North Korea and Iran, combined", he noted.

"Prior to making this decision, and after our exit, the United States has urged U.N. member states to take immediate action to reform the Council before it became irreparable", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Tuesday. "Today is a black day for human rights - UN's newest world judges on human rights include: Pakistan - persecutes Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis".

The Geneva-based Human Rights Council can spotlight abuses and has special monitors watching certain countries and issues.

"It was due to the personal outreach to world leaders by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the skillful guidance of the Foreign Ministry and the contribution of all Pakistan Missions overseas and my team here at the United Nations", he said. "I call on all democracies that are still members of the council to immediately resign from this shameful and antisemitic body".

"If a State thinks they can hide the human rights violations they may have committed, or escape criticism by sitting on the Human Rights Council, they are greatly mistaken", Gomez said.

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