India in right's council for 2nd term
Recognising its strong human rights record, the United Nations General Assembly has elected India for a second term on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council by an overwhelming majority.
In the election held on Thursday, India got 185 out of 190 votes polled, highest among all contestants for the 14 seats which fell vacant this year.
India was first elected last year when the Council was established replacing Human Rights Commission, which had come under sharp attack from the United States and other western nations, who argued that human rights violators were shielding one another rather than exposing violations.
New Delhi has promised to continue to work towards promotion and protection of human rights based on the "principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue and an integrated approach to all human rights".
India will now serve a three-year term. One-third of members retire each year but on its establishment, some members were elected for one and two years.
The United States, which worked aggressively for the creation of the Council, did not field its candidature either last year or this year.
During the negotiations last year, Washington had failed in its efforts to bar the countries which it perceived to be human rights violators from fighting elections to the Council.
During the year, India had worked to define the contours of Council's functions and establishment of Universal Periodic Review mechanism which would ensure that human rights records of all nations are scrutinised over a period of time.