United Nations criticized over latest picks for rights council

Pauline Gross
October 14, 2018

"We thank and commend the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the States that supported our country's bid, for affirming the Philippines' brand of human rights advocacy under the Duterte administration as truly responsive to our people's needs and aspirations for a better and more dignified life", Panelo said. Bangladesh is among the five countries elected from the Asia and Pacific region for three years from January, 2018.

United Nations officials, meanwhile, declined to opine on the vote results but suggested all council members should be open to scrutiny of their own handling of human rights.

The countries that were elected from other regions were Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Togo, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Argentina, Bahamas, Uruguay, Austria, Denmark and Italy.

The Philippines garnered 165 votes of 192 votes cast by member-states, the DFA said in a statement.

'This lack of standards continues to undermine the organization and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year'.

There five countries which have been endorsed by the regional group.

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

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Haley urged the body to reform in a speech in Geneva in 2017 focusing on its anti-Israel bias and also its membership - which she said led to human rights abusers being protected on the council.

The UN drew criticism on Friday for allowing countries with dismal human rights records to join its Human Rights Council.

Louis Charbonneau, the group's United Nations director, called the vote "ridiculous" and said on Twitter it "makes mockery of (the) word 'election'".

The organisation said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on drugs had been "a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead" and that Eritrean authorities had persecuted and jail government critics. It meets three times a year and its aim is to promote and protect human rights around the world.

"This (the UNHRC seat) signals the world has accepted India's credentials as a sentinel of human rights".

"Only this year the government of 36-year ruler Paul Biya has been found burning villages in the Anglophone areas of the country, disappearing political opponents, and summarily executing women and children, on film", he said.

Farhan Haq, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the matter was a question for the member states themselves.

Other reports by GizPress

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