India elected to UN HR Council

October 13, 2018

TEHRAN - India was elected to the influential UN Human Rights Council with the highest number of votes by the UN General Assembly on Friday with a vow to combat intolerance.

India received 188 votes, the highest polled by any of the 18 countries elected in the voting. This is the fifth time India has been elected to the Geneva-based Council, the main body of the UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights.

India’s presence on the Council, experts believe, will be significant because the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein had ordered an international commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation on both sides of Kashmir.

His successor Michelle Bachelet and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have backed Zeid's recommendation.

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 other regional candidates were Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines.

In January India will join China and Nepal, besides Pakistan, which were elected to the 47-member Council in previous years to serve three-year terms.

After being elected, India pledged to continue supporting international efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Pertinently, the U.S. withdrew from the Council earlier this year after its Permanent Representative Nikki Haley questioned its legitimacy. Haley has since announced her resignation from her role at UN.

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