New members of UN Human Rights' Council criticised

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council with highest number of votes

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council in Asia-Pacific category

The countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the council.

"Our successful bid to keep our seat in the Council is proof that many in the global community remain convinced the Philippines respects and protects human rights and have seen through the efforts of some to politicize and weaponize the issue", Cayetano said in a statement. As per the resolution, all countries elected to the UN Human Rights Council will be reviewed under the universal periodic review mechanism during their term of membership.

The move has however attracted the ire of political and human rights groups who insist that Eritrea, Cameroon and Somalia had no business serving on the Council given their current rights record. Bahrain, Fiji and the Philippines were other regional candidates.

Given that there were five nations vying for five seats in the Asia Pacific category, India's election to the Council was all but certain.

India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body on Friday, for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.

Elections were held by secret ballot in the 193-member General Assembly on Friday, although the number of candidates for all the five regions matched the vacancies making it a formality. The former United Nations human rights body chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, had called for an investigation into "all civilian killings since July 2016" and "the excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of pellet guns immediately".

While other countries with stronger human rights records were voted in - such as Argentina, Czech Republic and Denmark - the addition of those with poor records was cited as evidence by Haley that the US was right to withdraw from the body earlier this year.

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"This lack of standards continues to undermine the organisation and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year". Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested.

In contrast, the UN Human Rights Watch Director did make an exception for India, by not naming India, despite calling it a ridiculous vote.

Serious rights violations in Bahrain and Cameroon also raise significant concerns, it said.

There five countries which have been endorsed by the regional group.

The Philippines will join at a time when President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has left more than 4,800 mostly poor suspects dead in clashes with police, by the government's account; rights groups say the toll is much higher.

Earlier this year, the council urged the Philippines to cooperate with the United Nations for an assessment of the country's human rights situation.

In Cameroon, HRW said government forces and armed separatists had committed "grave abuses" in the country's Anglophone region.

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