India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

But ahead of the vote, aid group Human Rights Watch had slammed this year's process which saw every candidate run unopposed, thus assuring them a seat on the Council "regardless of their rights records".

A 97-vote majority from the 193 nations that make up the UN's General Assembly is needed for the green light. It is serving as Vice President representing the Asia-Pacific Group, according to the DFA. The other members in the bloc are Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines.

India was vying for a seat in the Asia Pacific category. The post was assured as only 5 five countries, including India, were running for the five vacancies from the region, however, India secured the highest number of votes among all candidates.

Following the election, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told PTI that India's win with the highest number of votes "reflects India's standing in the global comity".

The Geneva-based council works on human rights across the globe.

The Council is made up of 47 United Nations member states which are elected for three years, with a new cohort joining every year.

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Countries can be elected to only two consecutive terms and India had taken a year's break when its term ended in 2017.

The United States withdrew from the Council earlier this year after its Permanent Representative Nikki Haley questioned its legitimacy because of the presence of several dictatorial regimes violating human rights on it.

Given that there were five nations vying for five seats in the Asia Pacific category, India's election to the Council was all but certain.

The council also sends out independent experts and has set up commissions of inquiry to report on human rights violations in countries including Syria, North Korea, Burundi, Myanmar and South Sudan. In Cameroon, rights activists say civilians have been subjected to abuses amid fighting between English-speaking separatists and government security forces, and it is thought that thousands of people who fled the violence were unable to vote in Sunday's presidential election.

The new members elected Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia and Togo in the African States category, Bulgaria and Czech Republic in the Eastern European States group, Argentina, Bahamas and Uruguay in the Latin American and Caribbean States group and Austria, Denmark and Italy in the Western European and other States category. India has been appointed for a period of three years from 2019 to 2022.

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