India wins seat in UN Human Rights Commission

India wins seat in UN Human Rights Commission

MANILA-The Philippines' recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council is proof the Duterte administration respects human rights, Malacañang said Saturday. It said Human Rights Council member states should seek to neutralise any attempts by its "worst members to shield themselves and other serial rights abusers & keep doing good work on #Yemen, #Myanmar, #Syria, #Burundi & other crises".

India on Friday was elected unopposed to the United Nations Human Rights Council as a candidate from Asia-Pacific region for the 5th time after being elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014 to three-year terms.

Showcasing its position as 'the world's largest democracy and India's secular polity, India nominated itself for the council.

India's presence on the Council will be important because the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein asked the body to facilitate an global commission of enquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir. The other members in the bloc are Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines.

This was also supported by his successor Michelle Bachelet and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

A minimum of 97 votes were needed by a country to get elected to the Council.

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It also condemned the election of Eritrea and Bahrain on the Council citing their government's persecution and jailing of critics and human rights defenders and argued that "grave abuses against residents of the country's Anglophone region" have been committed in Cameroon by government security forces and armed separatists.

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.

"The community of nations has viewed the drug menace as a global problem requiring its utmost attention in forcefully dealing with it and forging a united front against the purveyors of its proliferation across the frontiers of the world", he said.

Few hours after India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body on Friday, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said that New Delhi would continue its balance and moderate approach towards the protection of human rights across the world.

The Philippines is serving a fresh three-year term in the Council after its election in 2015.

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

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