UN Rights polls faulted
United Nations, US, Oct. 13: Bahrain, Cameroon and the Philippines were among a number of nations controversially elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday, sparking sharp criticism from rights groups and the United States.
Around a third of seats on the 47- member council, based in Geneva, were open for slots lasting from 2019- 2022.
A 97- vote majority from the 193 nations that make up the UN's General Assembly is needed for approval.
For the first time since the council was created in 2006, each voting region agreed in advance on 18 candidates to be in the running for 18 seats -- removing any competition.
New members Bahrain, Cameroon, the Philippines, Somalia, Bangladesh and Eritrea were elected with between 160 and 178 votes -- and immediately drew criticism from activists in Europe and North America dismissing them as “unqualified” due to their human rights records.
“By putting forward serious rights violators and presenting only as many candidates as seats available, the regional groups risk undermining the council's credibility and effectiveness,” said New York- based Human Rights Watch.