Pakistan wins seat on United Nations rights council

18 October, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Hope Soto

The General Assembly today elected, by secret ballot, 15 States to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former chairwoman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said now that countries like Qatar, Congo and Pakistan have joined the likes of Cuba, Venezuela and China in the UN Human Rights Council, the US must withdraw from it or "we legitimise" human rights abusers. Barring that, he suggested that it would be better to make all United Nations member states members rather than electing countries that do not meet the council's standards.

All of the Human Rights Council's members are elected by the world body's General Assembly, and it has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.

Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

"Countries that aggressively violate human rights at home should not be in a position to guard the human rights of others", Ms Haley said in a statement. "We need a unified voice of moral clarity with backbone and integrity to call out abusive governments".

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During our term on the Human Rights Council, we will focus on five key areas: gender equality, freedom of expression, good governance and robust democratic institutions, human rights for indigenous peoples and strong national human rights institutions.

The president of the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO), Jean-Claude Katende, expressed outrage over the DRC's election, vowing to continue "to document cases of human rights violations in Congolese territory to prove to the African countries which supported the election of the DR Congo that they made a mistake".

African countries had four candidates for their continent's four seats on the council and Congo got the lowest number of votes — 151.

She thanked the United Nations for posing trust in Pakistan.

The only contested slate was in Asia where six countries vied for four seats. Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan were also elected from the region.

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