On 18 New Countries In UN Human Rights Council, Nikki Haley's Critique

India,Human Rights Council,UN

India wins seat at United Nations Human Rights Council

On the 47-member Council, the seats are allocated based on "equitable regional distribution" giving the Asia-Pacific region a total of 13 seats, with some coming up for election every year where Pakistan, China are already members in the group. The group cited the administration's drug war, citing more than 12,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed in anti-drug operations - a huge jump from the government data showing 4,000 have been neutralized - as well as the attacks on human rights defenders.

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley criticized the U.N. Friday after its General Assembly elected new members to the controversial Human Rights Council - including countries with poor human rights records. India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017.

The Council is made up of 47 United Nations member states which are elected for three years, with a new cohort joining every year. The Philippines won its bid for a re-election, while Bahrain, Bangladesh and Fiji bagged the other three seats.

India's election into UNHRC is important considering previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein who asked the body to facilitate an global commission of inquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir.

Aside from the Philippines, countries Bahrain, Cameroon, Somalia, Bangladesh and Eritrea were also elected - with between 160 and 178 votes - and immediately drew criticisms from activists in Europe and North America dismissing them as "unqualified" due to their human rights records.

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The 18 new members were elected by the absolute majority through a secret ballot.

While other countries with stronger human rights records were voted in - such as Argentina, Czech Republic and Denmark - the addition of those with poor records was cited as evidence by Haley that the USA was right to withdraw from the body earlier this year.

Following the election, Akbaruddin tweeted, "Voting for a Happy Outcome".

The group particularly criticised the inclusion of the Philippines which it says is "undergoing a human rights crisis that may amount to crimes against humanity".

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. Former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet assumed the role of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September this year, succeeding Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who had in June this year released a first ever report on Kashmir that was rejected by India. "It puts them on the world stage, and moreover, it empowers them to fundamentally undermine notions of human rights that are accepted internationally".

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