India, UAE re-elected to UN Human Rights Council for new term

October 16, 2021
Image tweeted by India's permanent mission to the UN on Twitter
Image tweeted by India's permanent mission to the UN on Twitter

NEW YORK — India was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term on Thursday with an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly, with New Delhi’s envoy describing the election as a "robust endorsement" of the country's strong roots in democracy, pluralism and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

The 76th UN General Assembly held elections on Thursday for 18 new members of the UN Human Rights Council who will serve for a period of three years, starting in January 2022.

India on being re-elected to the UNHRC for the 2022-24 term vowed to continue to work for the promotion and protection of human rights through “Samman, Samvad and Sahyog".

“India gets re-elected to the @UN_HRC (2022-24) for a 6th term with overwhelming majority. Heartfelt gratitude to the @UN membership for reposing its faith in India," India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

"We will continue to work for promotion and protection of Human Rights through #Samman #Samvad #Sahyog #Samman #Samvad #Sahyog," it added.

India got 184 votes in the 193-member assembly, while the required majority was 97.

"I am truly delighted at this overwhelming support for India in elections to Human Rights Council. It’s a robust endorsement of our strong roots in democracy, pluralism and fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution.

“We thank all UN member states for giving us a strong mandate,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti told PTI.

India’s current term was set to end on Dec. 31 2021. For election for the term 2022-2024, there were five vacant seats in the Asia-Pacific States category — India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

The 193-member General Assembly elected by secret ballot Argentina, Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, Finland, Gambia, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Qatar, Somalia, UAE and the USA for the 2022-2024 term on the Council.

The US joined the cohort more than three years after the Trump administration quit the 47-member body over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.

The United States, which was unopposed, received 168 votes in the secret ballot by the 193-member General Assembly. It begins a three-year term on Jan. 1 — pitting Washington against Beijing and Moscow, who began council terms this year.

China and some of its allies including Belarus and Venezuela have taken advantage of the US absence from the council to push through joint statements supporting Beijing's actions in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, and denouncing "human rights violations" in Western countries, including against indigenous Canadians.

For Thursday's vote, non-governmental organizations accused regional groups of stitching up a "legitimizing facade" rather than a genuine contest at the council, by presenting the same number of candidates as vacant seats.

India’s mission congratulated other UN member states for their election to the Human Rights Council, which consists of 47 Member States elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.

The membership is based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats are distributed among regional groups Group of African States (13), Group of Asia-Pacific States (13), Group of Eastern European States (6), Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (8) and Group of Western European and other States (7).

As of January 2021, 119 of the 193 UN member states will have served as a member of the HRC. "This broad membership not only reflects the UN’s diversity, but it gives the Council legitimacy when speaking out on human rights violations in all countries,” the UN said.

US Ambassador at UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington’s election to the Council has “fulfilled President Biden’s campaign pledge to rejoin the Human Rights Council” and the US will “work to ensure this body lives up to these principles.” — Agencies

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