Saturday, 13 October 2018

United Nations: Controversial Election Of Bahrain, Cameroon and The Philippines To The Board of Human Rights

Bahrain, Cameroon and the Philippines were elected Friday to the Board of human rights by the united Nations general Assembly in an election without competition deemed “ridiculous” by some of the organizations of defense of human rights.

One third of the seats of this instance of the 47-member Geneva-based were to be filled for a term of three years (2019-2021). A majority of 97 votes out of the 193 countries composing the united Nations was necessary in order to be elected.

All the countries of the UN are entitled to apply to the Council of human rights, recalled in the beginning of the session the president of the general Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces.

Friday, 18 candidates were vying for 18 positions to be filled. All were elected with a number of votes well above the required majority.

For the first time since the creation in 2006 of the Council to promote and protect human rights throughout the world, each region affected by the votes had previously given to the candidates, eliminating any competition between States.

Bahrain has gathered 165 votes for, the Cameroon 176 votes, and the Philippines 165 votes. Among the other candidates, Eritrea has obtained 160 votes, Somalia 170 votes and the Bangladesh 178 votes. The election of the 18 candidates has been welcomed by a round of applause at the end of the session.
United Nations
In a press release, several NGOS from Europe, the United States and Canada (A Watch, Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, Human Rights Foundation…), have estimated that these six countries are “not qualified” to serve on the Board of human rights because of their poor results in this area.

Credibility at stake

It was “a vote is ridiculous without competition,” said Louis Charbonneau, of the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW). “Such votes scoff at the word +election+”, a-t-he added, recalling that in 2016 Russia had not been elected because of the existence of a competition between several States.

“By supporting countries that violate the rights of the man and having only a number of candidates equivalent to the number of seats to be filled, the regional groups may undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the Council”, has also warned HRW.

“Once again, the countries with relatively poor results in the field of human rights have competed without opposition, criticized in a statement the us ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. The absence of rules preventing such countries from being elected “continues to undermine the organisation and, once again, demonstrates that the United States have been due to withdraw this year,” she added.
When questioned at his point-press daily, the spokesperson of Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces has not responded directly to accusations of election determined in advance. “It is clear that the world expects that the members of the international organizations adhere to a certain set of standards of behavior consistent with the organizations for which they have been elected,” said the spokesperson, Monica Villela Grayley.

Among the 18 seats allocated, 5 were in Africa (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eryhtrée, Somalia, Togo), and 5 in the Asia-Pacific region (Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Philippines), 2 in eastern Europe (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic), 3 in Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Bahamas, Uruguay), and 3 in the Western Europe and other States (Austria, Denmark, Italy).

The United States withdrew in June of the Council of human rights of the UN, accusing the institution of”hypocrisy”, especially with respect to Israel. “For too long, the Commission of human rights has protected the perpetrators of violations of human rights and has been a cesspool of political bias”, had then explained Washington.
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