UNHRC : India re-elected to UN Human Rights Council for record 6th term with overwhelming majority

India was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council with 184 votes in a 193-member assembly, while the required majority was 97. India’s current term at UNHRC was to end on December 31. 2021.

Why in News?

      • India on October 14, 2021, was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2022-2024 term with an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly. India’s re-election for the record sixth term to the UN body has been described by New Delhi’s envoy as a robust endorsement of the country’s strong roots in pluralism, democracy, and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

        The elections were held by the United Nations General Assembly on October 14 for 18 new members of UNHRC who will serve for the period of three years, starting in January 2022.

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      • India was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council with 184 votes in a 193-member assembly, while the required majority was 97.

        India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador, TS Tirumurti said, “I am truly delighted at this overwhelming support for India in elections to Human Rights Council. It’s a robust endorsement of our strong roots in democracy, pluralism, and fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution. We thank all the UN member states for giving us a strong mandate.”

India re-elected to UNHRC: Key Highlights

      • India’s current term at UNHRC was to end on December 31. 2021.
      • For the election for the term 2021-24, there were five vacant seats in the Asia-Pacific States Category- India, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
      • The 193-member UN General Assembly elected by secret ballot Benin, Argentina, Cameroon, Finland, Eritrea, Gambia, India, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malaysia, Paraguay, Montenegro, Qatar, UAE, Somalia, and the USA for the 2022-2024 term on UN Human Rights Council.

Membership of UN Human Rights Council:

  • India congratulated other UN member states for their election to the UN Human Rights Council, which consists of 47 member states elected directly and individually by the secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.
  • The members of the UN Human Rights Council will serve for a period of three years and will not be eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.
  • As of January 2021, 119 of the 193 UN Member states will have served as a member of the Human Rights Council. As per the United Nations, this broad membership not only reflects the UN’s diversity, but it gives the Council legitimacy when speaking out on Human Rights violations in all the countries.

  • The membership of UNHRC is based on equitable geographical distribution and the seats are distributed among regional groups Group of African States (13), Group of Asia Pacific States (13), Group of Eastern European States (6), Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (8) and Group of Western European and other States (7).

US re-elected to UNHRC under Biden administration

The United States in 2018, under the Donald Trump administration, had withdrawn from UN Human Rights Council.

US Ambassador at UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the US’s re-election to UN Human Rights Council has fulfilled US President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to rejoin the council and that the US will work to ensure this body lives up to these principles.

She further added that in its new role as a member, the United States can fully participate in the Council’s work of protecting and promoting human rights. The initial efforts of the US in the Human Rights Council will be on what can be accomplished in situations of dire needs, such as in Burma, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, China, Yemen, and Syria.

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