Australia elected to the Human Rights Council

Reuters

The 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.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday despite opposition from the United States and a leading rights group.

However, human rights activists both within and outside the country decried the election of the DRC to the United Nations body.

Earlier, Pakistan had been elected as the member of United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20.

She made no mention of a USA withdrawal from the council.

Asked what will be Pakistan's objectives in the Council, Ambassador Lodhi said: "We will use our membership to protect our core national interests, uphold universal values, be a bridge builder between polarised positions and expose human rights abuses by India in occupied Kashmir". "We need a unified voice of moral clarity with backbone and integrity to call out abusive governments".

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"When you're in that Council, you're putting yourself forward for scrutiny and then that tells you that Nigeria is ready to scrutinise itself in regards to respect for human rights".

The president of the African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADHO), Jean-Claude Katende, expressed outrage over the DRC's election, vowing to continue "to document cases of human rights violations in Congolese territory to prove to the African countries which supported the election of the DR Congo that they made a mistake".

There were five candidates contesting for four Asia-Pacific seats on the Council. But that was still far about the 97 votes needed to win a seat. "If there had been competition, it probably would have lost", Charbonneau said.

"For the UN to elect Qatar, Congo or Pakistan as a world judge on human rights is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief", said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

The only contested slate was in Asia where six countries vied for four seats.

The other winners in uncontested races were Angola, Nigeria, Senegal, Slovakia, Ukraine, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Australia and Spain.

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