Critics slam, administration lauds PH seat in UN Human Rights Council

14 October, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • India wins election to UN Human Rights Council with highest number of votes

Human Rights Watch's (HRW) UN director Louis Charbonneau called the election "a mockery" in a post on Twitter.

Aside from the Philippines, the other member-states elected by the General Assembly were Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay.

India's election into UNHRC is important considering previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein who asked the body to facilitate an global commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir. The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot.

"The United States will continue to support reforms that would make the Human Rights Council credible".

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

Rights groups and the USA criticized the United Nations Human Rights Council for electing controversial nations to the council.

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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.

He went as far as saying that the anti-drug campaign was the Philippines' brand of human rights advocacy.

Following the election, Akbaruddin tweeted, "Voting for a Happy Outcome". "Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's abusive "war on drugs" has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead". A report to the Human Rights Council past year by a United Nations special rapporteur condemned Eritrea for its "indefinite length of conscription" and said that the government had "an ongoing unwillingness to meet its obligations and commitments under regional and worldwide human rights instruments".

On the 47-member Council the seats are allocated based on "equitable regional distribution" giving the Asia-Pacific region a total of 13 seats, with some coming up for election every year.

In Cameroon, HRW said government forces and armed separatists had committed "grave abuses" in the country's Anglophone region.

Farhan Haq, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the matter was a question for the member states themselves. "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", Haley, who is stepping down from her role in January, added.

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