UN Human Rights Council

Pakistan has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council despite opposition from activist groups over its abysmal human rights records.

  • Among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region vying for four seats in the UN’s premier human rights body, Pakistan secured the highest number of votes.
  • In a secret-ballot voting in the 193-member UN General Assembly on that race, Pakistan secured 169 votes, Uzbekistan received 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia 90.
  • Under the Human Rights Council’s rules, seats are allocated to regions to ensure geographical representation. Except for the Asia-Pacific contest, the election of 15 members to the 47 member Human Rights Council was all but decided in advance because all the other regional groups had uncontested slates.

About UN Human Rights Council 

  • The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis from 5 groups.
  • To become a member, a country must receive the votes of at least 96 of the 191 states of the UN General Assembly (an absolute majority).
  • The members are elected for a period of three years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
  • In electing Council members, the resolution provides that General Assembly members “shall take into account the candidates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.”
  • The UNHRC holds regular sessions three times a year, in March, June, and September.
  • Members serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.