India Wins Election to UNHRC
18, Oct 2018
Prelims level : International Organisation Mains level :
Why in News?
- India was elected to the United Nations’ top human rights body for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.
About the New Members:
- The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections here for new members to the UN Human Rights Council. The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
- In the Asia Pacific category, India got 188 votes followed by Fiji with 187 votes, Bangladesh 178, Bahrain and Philippines 165 each.
- India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 terms.
United Nations Human Rights Council:
- The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
- It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
- The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
- The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats
- Eastern European States: 6 seats
- Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
- The Human Rights Council replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The Bureau of the Council consists of five people – one President and four Vice-presidents – representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle.