United Nations elects Congo to Human Rights Council despite abuses

18 October, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Clint Gray
  • DRC elected into UN Human Rights Council

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former chairwoman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said now that countries like Qatar, Congo and Pakistan have joined the likes of Cuba, Venezuela and China in the UN Human Rights Council, the US must withdraw from it or "we legitimise" human rights abusers.

The 47-member council was created by the General Assembly in 2006 to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, address situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

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

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Three of India's neighbours, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for a three year period from 2018. Pakistan polled 151 votes, when 97 were needed.

He explained that this enhances the State of Qatar approach to the development of national legislation to promote human rights issues and affirms its commitment to the protection of human rights at the local level and recognizes its significant role and prestige at the regional and global levels.

Human Rights activists have appreciated as well as cautioned Pakistan on becoming a member state of United Nation Human Rights Council as Pakistan needs to improve their human rights facilities promptly at home.

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Pakistan's Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi tweeted that the election is ringing endorsement of Pakistan's strong commitment to human rights.

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.

On her Twitter account, she said that the "victory is a manifestation of the worldwide community's trust in Pakistan".

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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. "Pakistan", she said, "is humbled by and grateful for the overwhelming support received from the world community".

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