Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia win election to UNHRC, Russia loses

\ From Yoshita Singh\ United Nations, Oct 28 (PTI) Cuba, China, Egypt and Saudi\Arabia were among 14 members elected today by the UN General\Assembly to the world body\\’s human rights council, but Russia\failed to garner enough votes to win the re-election amid\rights groups campaign against its role in the war in Syria.\ The 193-member General Assembly voted here to elect\Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan,\Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, UK and the US to\the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.\ The elected members will serve in the 47-member Council\for a three year term beginning January 1, 2017. India is a\member of the human rights body and its term will expire in\2017.\ China, Cuba, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the UK were\seeking re-election to the Council as their terms were set to\expire in December.\ Russia too was seeking re-election but did not garner\enough votes to win.\ The Council members are elected directly and individually\by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the UNGA.\The Council membership is based on equitable geographical\distribution, and seats are distributed among regional groups\of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin American and\Caribbean, Group of Western Europe and other states.\ The members of the Council serve a period of three years\and are not be eligible for immediate re-election after two\consecutive terms.\ Rights body Human Rights Watch had strongly opposed\candidacies of Saudi Arabia and Russia for the Human Rights\Council, criticising the two nations for \\"their widespread\unlawful attacks\\" on civilians in Yemen and Syria.\ Human Rights Watch had said accepting Saudi Arabia and\Russia\\’s bids for membership would be contrary to the basic\standards for which the Human Rights Council was created 10\years ago, and risk undermining the credibility of the UNÂ’s\top human rights body and its ability to hold abusers\accountable. Human Rights Watch had also expressed serious\concerns about the \\"poor human rights records\\" of China and\Egypt running for three-year council terms.\ \\"The UN Human Rights Council\\’s ability to successfully\expose and hold violators to account is under threat because aumber of countries use it to thwart attempts to expose their\own crimes and abuses,\\" UN director at Human Rights Watch\Louis Charbonneau had said.\ \\"Electing council members that are truly committed to\improving human rights is the responsibility of each and every\UN member country, and Saudi Arabia and Russia don\\’t honour\the ideals that underpin the UN Human Rights Council.\\" PTI YAS\\ABH\

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