New York, October 12: In a major diplomatic win, India was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) - the topmost human rights' body of the UN. New Delhi's tenure is slated for 3 years, beginning from January 1, 2019.
In the elections held on Friday, India's place in the 18-member UNHRC was sealed with 188 votes -- nearly double of what was necessitated. As per the rules laid down by the UN, a nation vying for the seat required a minimum of 97 votes in the 193-member UN General Assembly. India Essential Component of Multipolar World, Says UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
India's permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, expressed gratitude to the nations which voted in favour of New Delhi. "India's victory today at UN General Assembly during elections to human rights council is reflection of high standing that our country enjoys globally," he said.
"We would like to assure them that India will continue its balance and moderate approach towards the promotion and protection of human rights globally," Akbaruddin added.
A total of 18 new members were elected today, all by absolute majority. The polls were held through a secret ballot, with envoys of respective nations casting their mandate.
India's inclusion in the UNHRC was already certain, given that only five nations were contesting for the five vacant seats in the Asia-Pacific category. Along with India, four other nations elected from the region are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines.
India's inclusion in the UNHRC comes at a time when the nation has launched a diplomatic campaign to isolate Pakistan on all international forums for ideologically, logistically and financially sustaining militancy in Jammu & Kashmir. Islamabad, on the other hand, has accused New Delhi of "excesses" against the Muslims of the Valley.