Sri Lanka loses race for HRC seat

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 May 2008, 17:05 GMT]
Sri Lanka, which was backed by India, China and reportedly also by Japan, has lost in the race in getting re-elected to the seat of the 47-member UN Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka received 101 votes and ranked 5th among the six Asian countries vying for four seats in the secret ballot of the U.N. General Assembly held in New York on Wednesday.

Japan received 155 votes, Bahrain 142, South Korea 139, Pakistan 114 and Sri Lanka 101.

The Human Rights Council (HRC), based in Geneva, was established on 15 March 2006 and consists of forty-seven Member States of the United Nations. The Council replaced the former 53-seat U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), which was often criticized for its failure to objectively address human rights violations in individual countries.

Fifteen of the HRC's 47 seats will be decided by U.N. General Assembly secret ballot which is the third annual election for the Geneva-based council.

13 of the 47 seats are allocated for the 44 Asian Member States of the United Nations.

The HRC is an intergovernmental UN Charter-based body, which meets in Geneva 10 weeks a year, and is composed of 47 elected UN Member States who serve for an initial period of 3 years. Council membership is limited to two consecutive terms, and any Council member may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly.

A key component of the Council is a periodic review of all 192 UN member states, called Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a mechanism based on reports from different sources, including the NGOs. Each country's situation will be examined during a three hours debate, during their term of membership.


Chronology:


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