Yesterday the UN General Assembly elected 15 countries to serve on the 47-nation Human Rights Council. Lets go to New York where the voting took place:
Dr. Srgjan Kerim, President of the United Nations General Assembly said France won the most votes in the Western European and others group, while Britain beat Spain by just one vote. John Sawers the British Ambassador to the UN said he was surprised by his country's win over Spain.
[John Sawers, British Ambassador to the UN]:
"I congratulate who were also elected today and my commiseration's to those who did not, in particular to Spain. The Western European and Others group election was astonishingly close and any two of the three countries would have been effective and powerful advocates for human rights on the Human Rights Council, but only two could get in. I'm very glad that one of those two is the United Kingdom."
In Asia, Japan, Bahrain, South Korea and Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka and East Timor to take four seats available. Ukraine and Slovakia defeated Serbia and the Czech Republic to take the Eastern European seats. Gabon, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Zambia were the only candidates in the running for the four seats allocated to Africa. Argentina, Brazil and Chile were also uncontested in their bid for three Latin American seats.Before the election, human rights groups such as Freedom House called on the UN General Assembly to vote against Bahrain, Gabon, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zambia because of their spotty human rights records.