18 members elected to fill UN Human Rights Council vacancies

India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

India elected to Human Rights Council at UN with highest number of votes

India received a total of 188 votes, which was the highest received by any of the 18 countries elected in the voting.

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday, October 12, announced that the Philippines was able to secure a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during elections held in NY.

India was competing for a seat in the Asia Pacific class.

Campaigners had urged United Nations member states to oppose the candidacy of the Philippines and Eritrea and said the choice of Bahrain and Cameroon raised "significant concerns".

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When it nominated itself for the Council, India pledged that it "will continue to support worldwide efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance".

Bahrain has already been elected as a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for the 2017-2021 term and the UN Women Executive Council (2017-2019). The last tenure ended on December 31, 2017.

The 193-part UN General Assembly held races for new individuals to the UN Human Rights Council.

Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan said this achievement was especially important for the Council as an inclusive and truly representative body, capable of hearing the voices of all States, no matter what the size, and of hearing the stories of diverse human rights journeys.

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The new members to join the UNHRC in 2019 are Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Philippines, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay. The absence of rules preventing such countries from being elected "continues to undermine the organisation and, once again, demonstrates that the United States have been due to withdraw this year", she added.

On the basis of equitable geographical distribution, Council seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows: African States, 13 seats; Asia Pacific States, 13 seats; Eastern European States, 6 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States, 8 seats; and Western European and other States, 7 seats.

The Philippines government has previously dismissed claims of human rights abuses, saying President Duterte had employed "lawful use of force" against threats to the country.

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