Saudi Arabia forfeited its spot on the United Nations Human Rights Council to China, Russia, and Cuba last Tuesday.
The Middle East nation failed in its attempt to gain a place on the 47-seat human rights-body by getting a total of votes of 90, far from its 2016 winning streak of 154 votes. It possibly affects the country’s action to boost its image against human rights issues such as targeting human rights defenders and women rights activists.
Human Rights Watch also rejected its candidacy of Saudi Arabia as it continues to manifest negligence for human rights accountability over the years. Notably, the killing of a Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi two years ago.
According to Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director of Democracy of The Arab World Now, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed spent hundreds of dollars to cover his vast abuses. Still, the international community has no interest in grasping it.
She also addresses whether Saudi Arabia begins to take sensational reforms on releasing political prisoners, end its war in Yemen, and give its citizens the chance to participate in political issues; it still prevails global castaway.
On the other hand, despite hostility from activist movements over their plunging human rights records, China, Russia, and Cuba won the U.N. Human Rights Council’s spots.
However, the Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director, Louis Charbonneau, asserts an indication to all elected nations that the loss of Saudi Arabia is a welcome reminder of the demand for more competition in U.N. elections.
He further points out that despite having undeserving countries added to the new council, it will not curb the commission from giving light to all victims of abuses and standing up for victims. Moreover, by being on the board, those abusers will be promptly in the spotlight.
Charbonneau also criticized U.N. member states, including Western nations, for using the U.N. council for backroom deals operated among the regional groups.
The overall tally of votes from classified-ballot voting in the 193-member United Nations General Assembly indicates that Pakistan earned 169 votes, followed by Nepal with 164 votes, and China with 139 votes.
The newly elected members will start their three-year terms beginning in January. And expect to fulfill, evaluate their diversity, and deliver legitimacy when discussing human rights violations in all countries.