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Pak, India to contest UN rights body poll

The 191-member General Assembly is due to hold the first election for the council May 9.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2006 15:45 IST

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are among the UN member states who will contest elections for the newly established 47-member Human Rights Council.

Among other declared candidates for 13 seats allotted to Asia are Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Indonesia and South Korea, Online news agency reported.

So far eight candidates have offered themselves for the 13 seats but sources say more countries are expected to jump in fray in the coming days.

The 191-member General Assembly is due to hold the first election for the council May 9.

A member would require a majority of the total membership or a minimum 96 votes to get elected. The voting will be by secret ballot.

The council replaces the much-criticised Human Rights Commission that was discredited after abusive governments used their seats to block scrutiny of violations.

This led to the UN General Assembly's March 15 decision to terminate the commission and replace it with the council.

The US has yet to formally declare its candidacy but officials said they expected Washington to contest.

Britain, France, Germany and Finland have made their intention known to seek the council's membership.

From Africa, which has 13 seats, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria have said they will contest.

For eight seats allotted to Latin America and the Caribbean, eight candidates - Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay and Honduras - have already declared their candidacy.

First Published: Mar 29, 2006 15:45 IST