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India elected to Human Rights Council at UN

The largest democracy in the world, India, has won a seat at Human Rights Council at United Nations (UN) with the highest votes among all candidates.

India was elected with the highest number of votes by the General Assembly to the influential Human Rights Council on Friday with a pledge to combat intolerance.

India received 188 votes, the highest polled by any of the 18 countries elected in the voting.

This is the fifth time India has been elected to the Geneva-based Council, the main body of the UN charged with promoting and monitoring human rights.

India’s presence on the Council will be important because the previous UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein asked the body to facilitate an international commission of enquiry into allegations of human rights violation in Kashmir.

His successor Michelle Bachelet and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have backed Zeid’s recommendation, which Pakistan — a member of the Council — is campaigning for.

So far, no other country has backed Zeid’s call for the investigation.

Bangladesh, which is at the frontlines of dealing with the Rohingya crisis, was also elected with 178 votes to the Council to fill one of the five vacancies for three year terms from the Asia-Pacific region.

The regional group endorsed five countries, which matched the number of seats open for election this year, and they were the only countries on the ballot. The other regional candidates were Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines.

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