Why did Saudi Arabia fail to get a seat on the...

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The elections for the Human Rights Council took place on Tuesday in the General Assembly Hall of the international organization, which includes 47 countries around the world, and its seats are distributed among 5 regional groups, including the countries of Asia and the Pacific.

The only region contested for representation in the 2020 elections was the Asia-Pacific region, where China and Saudi Arabia were competing with Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Nepal for four seats.

China received 139 votes, which is a low number compared to the last time it ran in 2016 when it got 180 votes.

Saudi Arabia, the current chair of the Group of Twenty, came in fifth place with a total of only 90 votes, followed by Nepal (150 votes), which won the last remaining seat for the Asia-Pacific countries.

The United Nations Human Rights Council includes five regional groups: African countries (13 countries), Asia and the Pacific (13 countries), Eastern Europe (6 countries), Latin America and the Caribbean (8 countries), Western Europe (7 countries). ).

Senegal, Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Gabon, Malawi, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Northern Ireland also won.

Membership in the Council begins in January 2021 and the term of office of members continues for a period of three years, and no country may be re-elected to the Council after two consecutive terms.

Winning membership in the Council requires obtaining two-thirds of the votes of the members of the General Assembly (193 countries).

Photo of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

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A picture of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the discussion of a report on the extrajudicial executions and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. June 2019

Saudi reprimand

“The Human Rights Council today delivered a massive rebuke to Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the only unelected country excluded by the majority of the United Nations,” wrote Human Rights Watch deputy executive director Bruno Stagno on Twitter. Because of its serious violations of human rights and war crimes abroad. “

Human Rights Watch had called for the votes not to be given to Saudi Arabia and China, due to the ongoing human rights violations in these two countries.

Luis Charbonneau, director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted, “Good news … Saudi Arabia failed to get a seat and China won the fewest votes out of all the candidates. The bad news is that Cuba, China and Russia won, but the council can still do.” With a good job”.

He added, “China and Saudi Arabia not only committed massive human rights violations at home, but also extended outside their borders.”

Saudi Arabia’s defeat came in the wake of intense last-minute pressure by human rights organizations, which warned that the Council’s credibility would be at stake if Saudi Arabia, Russia and China were elected in view of the human rights violations that the citizens of these countries are subjected to at the hands of their authorities.

“Millions The dollars did not work

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the Organization for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), said: “These results tell us how much damage Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has inflicted on his country’s global standing when it failed to join the Human Rights Council while China and Russia managed to win seats. The kingdom is spending millions of dollars to cover up its heinous violations. The international community does not give it any weight.

“Unless Saudi Arabia carries out radical reforms, releases political prisoners, ends its disastrous war in Yemen, and allows its citizens to participate in meaningful political participation, it will remain a global pariah.”

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The murder of Jamal Khashoggi: How did the Saudi media deal with the incident?

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