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Pakistan re-elected to UN Human Rights Council with ‘overwhelming majority’

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Pakistan has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) with an overwhelming majority securing 169 votes in the 193-member UN General Assembly. Elections were held in New York yesterday. Among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region vying for four seats, Pakistan secured the highest number of votes, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

Pakistan is currently serving on the HRC since 1st January, 2018. With its re-election today, Pakistan will continue as a member for another three-year term commencing on January 1, 2021, the communique added. Since the HRC’s establishment in 2006, this is the fifth time that Pakistan has been elected to the United Nations’ premier body on Human Rights.

According to the Foreign Office, the international community has once again reposed confidence in Pakistan, recognising its contribution to the national and global human rights agenda and strong credentials as a consensus builder in the HRC.

Read More: UNGA President-elect Bozkir: Pakistan’s COVID-19 response good example for world

“Pakistan remains firmly committed to upholding, promoting and safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Pakistan will sustain its efforts towards ensuring that the HRC’s work is guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, dialogue and cooperation. In line with Pakistan’s commitment, we will prioritise advancement of tolerance, respect and constructive engagement in the HRC.”

The HRC has been a prominent forum for discussing the gross and systematic human rights abuses being perpetrated in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The human rights violations committed with impunity by the Indian occupation forces in IIOJK have been extensively documented in the various reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the independent Special Procedure Mandate Holders.

“Pakistan will remain actively engaged with the Council as well as its related processes to continue to highlight the plight of Kashmiris and other oppressed people all over the world,” the communique said.

The Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body based in Geneva within the United Nations system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It comprises 47 states and discusses all thematic human rights issues and specific situations requiring attention, such as those in IIOJK.

The UN Human Rights Council has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

Erdan slams UN Human Rights Council after Pakistan elected

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan assailed the international body on Tuesday at New York after its members elected several countries widely criticized for their human rights records to the premier UN body tasked with defending human rights.

“Today’s Human Rights Council elections prove once again that this council has nothing to do with protecting human rights and everything to do with violating them,” Erdan said in a video statement.

China, Russia, Cuba and Pakistan were among the 15 countries that won seats in a secret-ballot vote carried out by the 193-member General Assembly. Saudi Arabia failed to make the cut. Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes.

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