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Pakistan wins seat on United Nations rights council

17 October 2017

Pakistan has been elected member to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20.

Created by the UN General Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council comprises 47 elected Member States.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the election "yet another example of why the Human Rights Council lacks credibility and must be reformed in order to be saved". What happened in DRC past year makes their election to the Human Rights council entirely disappointing.

In addition to the ASADHO, several other human rights associations and Western countries such as the United States had opposed the election of the DRC to the council.

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"Australia is open to being investigated and open to views from outside, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't rightfully take our place on the human rights council", Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Other groups put up agreed candidates: (African States): Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Senegal; (Latin America/Caribbean States): Chile, Mexico and Peru; (Western European States): Australia and Spain, and (Eastern European States): Slovakia and Ukraine.

In a statement after the 193-member General Assembly voted Congo onto the Human Rights Council as part of an uncontested African slate for a three-year term starting January 1, Haley said the rights organization "cannot endure many more blows to its credibility before it is rendered absolutely meaningless".

To ensure geographical representation, states are nominated in five regional categories.

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In accordance with Assembly resolution 60/251, those Member States were eligible for immediate re-election except the delegation which had served two consecutive terms, namely Botswana, Congo, India and Indonesia.

Human Rights Watch called for elections to be competitive.

It will also push for reforms to the council which includes representatives from nations with a poor record on human rights.

Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch, called Congo's election "a slap in the face to the many victims of the Congolese government's grave abuses across the country".

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The violence in eastern and central Congo has displaced over 1.5 million in the past year and revived fears of civil war in a country where conflicts from 1996-2003 resulted in millions of deaths and spawned dozens of armed groups that prey on local populations and exploit natural resources.

Pakistan wins seat on United Nations rights council