India elected to UN Human Rights Council

India elected to UN Human Rights Council

India was not in competition for the seat since there were four countries and four seats for the Asia block. With 189 countries voting, Indonesia received 184 votes, Philippines 183, India 181 and Kuwait 166.

Other countries to be elected to the Council included Burkina Faso, Botswana, Congo, Benin, Czech Republic, Romania, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Italy and Austria. These countries will begin their term on June 19 for a three year term.

In the wake of international condemnation of its crackdown on protesters, Syria gave up its seat to Kuwait. Burkina Faso, Botswana, Congo and Benin made up the African group of states.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based group that monitors the UN, said that Burkina Faso, India, Philippines and Indonesia had questionable qualifications to be on the human rights body. It also said that Congo and Kuwait were unqualified to sit on the Council. UN Watch said that India's statement on Syria's recent crackdown had been “mixed.” New Delhi had sent a “wrong message” to Damascus by not putting human rights first and giving credit to Syria for its “positive recent reforms.”

Established by the UN General Assembly in 2006, the Council is made up of 47 states tasked with addressing situations of human rights violation and providing recommendations to tackle them.