India wins election to UN Human Rights Council

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council with highest number of votes

India on Friday was elected unopposed to the United Nations Human Rights Council as a candidate from Asia-Pacific region for the 5th time after being elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014 to three-year terms.

With no competition, each candidate got well over the 97 needed votes, including the Philippines, widely condemned internationally for a deadly drug crackdown, and Eritrea, which has faced criticism from a commission set up by the council itself.

With the victory, the Philippines will get to serve a fresh three-year term in the 47-member council based in Geneva from 2019 to 2021.

The Philippine Delegation to the United Nations led by Permanent Rep, Teodoro T. Locsin Jr.

Nikki Haley, who this week announced her resignation as USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday's vote demonstrated why the United States was right to withdraw from the council, which Washington called a "hypocritical" body that "makes a mockery of human rights".

Hours before the vote, Cayetano slammed Iceland, HRW and other nongovernment groups for calling on other countries not to support Manila's reelection bid.

"Getting a seat in the UN Human Rights Council is a repudiation of the critics and detractors on President Duterte's unrelenting war against illegal drugs", he said.

"The president's campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality has, in effect, been acknowledged by the worldwide community as essential to the protection of the right to life, liberty and property", Duterte's spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said in a statement.

Panelo claimed the Philippines is at the forefront of the "gigantic fight" in the global war on drugs, and is an example to the world of how to "slay the dragon of destruction".

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., September 23, 2017.

Earlier, an global human rights group has expressed strong opposition to the Philippines' candidacy for the UHNRC, citing the extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.

"Even the noisiest one against us, which is Iceland, do you know the number of problems of Iceland in human rights?"

BJP state spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan said, "Our country's selection by overwhelming majority buries Pakistan's false propaganda that India is a violator of human rights". "Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's abusive "war on drugs" has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead".

Eighteen countries, ranging from India to the Bahamas to Denmark, were chosen in a UN General Assembly vote.

Gomez-Dumpit issued the statement after the Philippines was elected to be part of the UNHRC last Friday. It meets three times a year and its aim is to promote and protect human rights around the world. Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested. "This is a blatant disrespect to the families of the victims of human rights violations under the Duterte Administration", Alejano said in a statement.

The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections here for new members to the UN Human Rights Council.

With a reports from NEIL JAYSON N. SERVALLOS AND MA.

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