UN General Assembly elects 15 members into Human Rights Council


Australia is expected to be elected unopposed for a spot on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

NAN reports that UNHRC is a United Nations system inter-governmental body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world.

The 15 new members were elected according to the following pattern: 4 seats for African States; 4 seats for Asia-Pacific States; 2 seats for Eastern European States; 3 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States; and 2 seats for Western European and other States.

"Australia is open to being investigated and open to views from outside, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't rightfully take our place on the human rights council", Ms Bishop told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"Australia owes those people obligations", said Hugh de Krester, the executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre.

"The HRC can not endure many more blows to its credibility before it is rendered absolutely meaningless", Haley said. He calls Mondays election of Congo "a slap in the face to the many victims of the Congolese government's grave abuses across the country".

UK Permanent Representative Matthew Rycroft also expressed his disappointment with the vote.

"Political repression, civilian attacks, mass graves". "What happened in #DRC last [year] makes their election to @UN_HRC entirely disappointing".

US Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed the election of the DR Congo, saying it called into question the credibility of the Geneva-based council, which the United States has threatened to quit.

Those number appear to be drawn from the U.N.'s own report from July, estimating that more than 3,000 people have been killed, almost 1.3 million displaced, and roughly 30,000 have fled to neighboring Angola, which joins Congo on the council.

Angola, Senegal, Slovakia, Ukraine, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Australia and Spain were also elected to the body on Monday, while Nigeria and Qatar won second terms.

Nigeria has illustriously served the global community on the UNHRC for three terms since the establishment of the Council in 2006.

While Congo's inclusion this year aroused considerable outcry, it was not the only source of controversy.

It's the first time Australia has had a seat on the council.

Spain's ascension to the council follows the nation's violent repression of a referendum on Catalonian independence.