ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with an overwhelming majority securing 169 votes in the 193-member UN General Assembly.
The elections were held in New York and Pakistan secured the highest number of votes among the five candidates from the Asia-Pacific region vying for four seats. China, Cuba, and Russia were also elected but Saudi Arabia failed to secure a seat, receiving only 90 of the minimum 97 required votes.
Pakistan is serving on the UNHRC since 1st January 2018 and will continue as a member for another three-year term commencing on 1st January 2021. Since the UNHRC’s establishment in 2006, this is the fifth time that Pakistan has been elected to the United Nations’ premier body on Human Rights.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan’s re-election to the UNHRC is a reflection of the international community’s confidence and trust in its commitment to a progressive national and global human rights agenda.
The Foreign Office released a statement saying that the international community has once again reposed confidence in Pakistan, recognising its contribution to the national and global human rights agenda and strong credentials as a consensus builder in the HRC.
It stated that Pakistan remains firmly committed to upholding, promoting and safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Pakistan will sustain its efforts towards ensuring that the HRC’s work is guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, dialogue and cooperation. It added Pakistan will be committed to prioritize advancement of tolerance, respect and constructive engagement in the HRC.
The UNHRC has been a prominent forum for discussing the gross and systematic human rights abuses being perpetrated in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan will remain actively engaged with the UNHRC and continue to highlight the plight of Kashmiris and other oppressed people all over the world.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body based in Geneva within the United Nations system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It comprises 47 states and discusses all thematic human rights issues and specific situations requiring attention such as those in occupied Kashmir.