Despite Spotty Record on Human Rights Brazil Gets UN Seat

United Nations Brazil, Chile and Argentina figure among the 15 members elected on Wednesday, May 21, to the Human Rights Council while Spain, Sri Lanka and Timor did not muster sufficient votes.

The vote on the 15 out of 47 seats of the Geneva-located Human Rights Council was taken by the 192 members of the United Nations General Assembly. An absolute majority of 97 is needed to be voted in. However the nomination was not without controversy.

Human Rights Watch campaigned strongly against countries which "shouldn't be in the council" such as Sri Lanka and others with a doubtful record as Brazil.

Sri Lanka and Timor were eliminated from the Asian four seats by Japan, Bahrain, South Korea and Pakistan. Africa will be represented by Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana and Zambia.

However the big looser in Western Europe was Spain which only managed 119 votes against 123 for France and 120 for UK. In Eastern Europe Ukraine and Slovakia were voted in.

In Latinamerica there were no surprises: Brazil with the support of 175 votes, plus Argentina and Chile with 176 and 172 votes.

Other Latinamerican countries in the council include Uruguay, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Mexico. New members will take office June 19.

"This is solid evidence of the growing world community recognition of the human rights policy implemented in Argentina and commitment from the Argentine government to this cause", said Argentine ambassador in UN Jorge Arguello.

The Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the much discredited Human Rights Commission with its poor performance and integration with country members with disputed records. United States, which was ousted from the Commission, never approved the creation of the Council and refuses to be a member.

Mercopress

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