Egypt secures seat at UN human rights body

Saturday 29-10-2016 11:47 AM

UN General Assembly meeting. Reuters

CAIRO, Oct 29 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt was elected on Friday to be a member at the UN Human Rights Council, with 173 out of 193 votes.

Other countries including Brazil,Croatia, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Tunisia and the United States won seats at the UN human rights body and would serve three years starting January 2017.

Cuba, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, China and the United Kingdom were re-elected for a second term.

Reuters quoted U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer as saying that “the re-election of China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia - regimes which systematically violate the human rights of their citizens - casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations.”

The UN Human Rights Council consists of 47 member states which are elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.

Council members serve for a period of three years for maximum two consecutive terms, after which immediate re-election is not eligible.

Egypt's human rights conditions have been largely scrutinised over the past few years with local and international rights groups reporting on increasing human rights violations, crackdowns and police abuses.

Meanwhile, Egypt has maintained that reports of violations are politicised and lack objectivity.

Last June, Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Fattah Allah was elected to be a member of the UN human rights committee which is composed of 18 independent members, serving in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.

The committee monitors the implementation of international covenant on civil and political rights by its State parties, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. 

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