India bags 188 votes, the highest polled by any of the 18 countries elected, to join United Nations’ human rights body.
India has been elected to the United Nations’ top human rights body, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category. India will start its three-year term on January 1, 2019.
The elections were held by the 193-member UN General Assembly for the UN Human Rights Council.
India will join the assembly along with Nepal, China, and Pakistan, which were elected previously to the serve three-year term. This is the fifth time the country has been elected to the Geneva-based Council, the UN body that promotes and monitors human rights.This
This time, India won the election by highest margin against the required 97 votes to win. It was also the highest vote polled by any of the 18 countries elected in the voting. The country was contesting with other four nations, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, and Philippines, for the five vacancies in the assembly – this meant its selection was a certainty.
India began its term by pledging to combat intolerance. It also vowed to back international efforts to combat racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia, and tolerance.
India’s victory has come at a time when the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein has directed setting up of an international commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir.
India first shared the stage when the first batch of 47 countries was elected to the Council in 2006. At that time India was given a one-year term instead of three to facilitate the vacancies available.
India has previously won elections in 2007, 2011, and 2014 for three-year terms. As per protocol, countries can be elected for two consecutive terms. The seats were based on “equitable regional distribution” on the 47-member council. Only 13 of these seats were allocated to the Asia-Pacific region as few come up for election every year.
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