- Pakistan was elected as a member state of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council by the body’s General Assembly in Oct 2017, securing more than two-thirds of the vote.
- Other countries elected by the UN General Assembly include Australia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Qatar, Congo, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
- They will serve on the 47-member council from January 2018 through the end of 2020.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo was elected to the UN Human Rights Council despite opposition from the United States and a leading rights group.
- Kinshasa now finds itself in the rare position of sitting on the Geneva-based council while the body investigates allegations of killings, torture, rape and the use of child soldiers in the Kasai region of the DR Congo.
Australia and Human Rights
- Australia will push for tougher scrutiny of countries with appalling human rights records after securing a coveted seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
- Australia was among 15 countries elected to the council for a three-year term despite the UN previously criticising the government for its record on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in detention and Indigenous people.
- The UNHCR has previously critiqued Australia for it’s treatments of asylum seekers in detention on Manus Island.
- Britain and the United States criticised the appointment of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was elected uncontested to the 47-member council.
- The DRC-beset by renewed political and militia violence since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down in December-won 151 votes from the 193-member General Assembly in New York.