India elected to UN Human Rights Council with highest votes

India was on October 12, 2018, elected to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council ‘ for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019. India secured 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates. Following the election, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said that India’s win with the highest number of votes reflects the country’s standing in the international community.

Key Highlights:-

1. The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections for new members to the UN Human Rights Council.
2. The countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
3. 18 new members were elected to UNHRC by the absolute majority through a secret ballot.
4. India got the highest number of votes among all 18 countries in the five regional categories.
5. In the Asia Pacific category, India got 188 votes followed by Fiji with 187 and Bangladesh 178 votes.
6. The new members will serve a term of three years beginning January 1, 2019.

India had been looking to win the seat at the UNHRC in the Asia Pacific category. India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017. Its last term had ended on December 31, 2017, and in accordance with the rules, it was not eligible for immediate re-election since it had already served two consecutive terms.

Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines had also staked a claim in the same regional group. So in total, there were five nations vying for five seats in the Asia Pacific category. India’s election to the Council was hence, all but certain.

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