Pakistan gets re-elected to the UNHRC

  • IASbaba
  • October 16, 2020
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Pakistan gets re-elected to the UNHRC

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Global Groupings

In news

  • Recently Pakistan was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • Pakistan is currently serving on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since 1st January, 2018. 
  • With its re-election, Pakistan will continue as a member for another three-year term starting from 1st January, 2021.
  • This is the fifth time that Pakistan has been elected to the UNHRC.

Key takeaways 

  • A total of 15 countries were elected to the 47-nation council. 
  • Russia and Cuba were elected unopposed. 
  • Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal and China were elected from the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Pakistan has been re-elected despite opposition from activist groups over its low human rights records. With a number of countries with questionable rights records being elected, the current system of entry to UNHRC is in serious need of reform.
  • Except for the Asia-Pacific contest, the election of 15 members was decided in advance because all the other regional groups had unopposed states.
  • However, there is a silver lining to repressive countries being elected to the council. It is far more difficult for them to hide their own human rights abuses because of their position as the supposed guardian of human rights makes 

Important value additions 

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

  • The Council was created through the resolution 60/251. 
  • Established in: 2006.
  • Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Aim: (1) To Promote and protect human rights around the globe; (2) To investigate alleged human rights violations.
  • Features: The UNHRC has 47 members elected for three-year terms on a regional group basis from 5 groups.
  • Membership: To become a member, a country must receive the votes of at least 96 of the 191 states of the UN General Assembly (an absolute majority).
  • Members are elected directly by secret ballot by the majority of the UN General Assembly.
  • Five regional groups for membership: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
  • The members are elected for a period of three years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
  • Sessions: The UNHRC holds regular sessions three times a year.

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