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

Larry Hoffman
October 14, 2018

India has been appointed for a period of three years from 2019 to 2022.

"It's clear that the world expects the members of global bodies to abide by a certain set of standards of behavior consistent with the bodies they have been elected to", said Monica Grayley, a spokeswoman for General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces. A 97-vote majority from the 193 nations that make up the UN's General Assembly is needed for the green light.

The Council is made up of 47 United Nations member states from five regions, which are elected by the UNGA.

The group also cited Duterte's intolerance of any kind of opposition and his verbal attacks against critics of the drug war such as United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, and High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

In a statement, newly designated Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the country's reelection to the UNHRC was "a recognition that our government respects human rights and will not tolerate abuse by those in authority".

In the nomination pledge, India also presented a broader approach to human rights, emphasising climate justice, health and poverty alleviation.

Haley urged the body to reform in a speech in Geneva in 2017 focusing on its anti-Israel bias and also its membership - which she said led to human rights abusers being protected on the council.

This did not sit well with the UN Representatives from global human rights organizations.

Haley criticized the United Nations on Friday, saying 'the lack of standards continues to undermine the organization'.

More than 4,200 drug suspects have been killed since 2016, but human rights groups and government critics claim this figure is understated.

Reflecting on the same, he told ANI, "India's victory today at the UN General Assembly during elections to human rights council is a reflection of high standing that our country enjoys globally".

The President has denied conducting unlawful police killings, although he has repeatedly threatened death to drug dealers.

The regional group endorsed five countries, which matched the number of seats open for election this year, and they were the only countries on the ballot.

Eritrea recently reached a peace agreement with neighboring Ethiopia after decades of war and unease, but it remains to be seen whether the conscription system will change. Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines were other regional candidates.

Serious rights violations in Bahrain and Cameroon also raise significant concerns, it said.

While other countries with stronger human rights records were voted in - such as Argentina, Czech Republic and Denmark - the addition of those with poor records was cited as evidence by Haley that the USA was right to withdraw from the body earlier this year.

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