MALAYSIA has lost out to Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and Qatar in its bid for one of the 15 seats on the United Nation Human Rights Council.
This is Qatar’s second consecutive term after winning the re-election vote.
A UN statement said the General Assembly election was carried out via a secret ballot among 193 countries.
“The newly elected members to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council are Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.
“All will serve three-year terms, beginning January 1, 2018, till 2020.”
It was Malaysia’s third bid for a seat on the council after two stints, from 2006 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2013.
Malaysia, which received 129 votes, was the only country to lose out as there were 16 countries vying for the 15 seats after Maldives’ withdrawal.
The UN said the 15 members were elected according to a quota of four seats each for the Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, three seats for Latin America and Caribbean states, two for Eastern European states, and two for Western European and other states.
“Council seats are also allocated to the five regional groups. African states, 13 seats; Asia-Pacific states, 13 seats; Eastern European states, six seats; Latin American and Caribbean states, eight seats; and Western European and other states, seven seats.”
Council members serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
Created by the General Assembly in 2006, the 47-member council is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
Among the five countries that competed for the four Human Rights Council seats allocated to Asia-Pacific, Malaysia was second on the freedom rankings.
According to the Freedom House 2017 report, Malaysia scored 44/100 in the freedom index while Nepal had 52/100, Pakistan 43/100, Qatar 26/100 and Afghanistan 24/100. (0 is least free while 100 is most free).
The annual report rates countries according to the condition of political rights and civil liberties. – October 18, 2017.