India re-elected to key UN committee

Last Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 10:11

United Nations: Adding yet another feather to
its cap, India has been re-elected to a key UN committee on
the elimination of racial discrimination, more than a week
after securing membership of the powerful Joint Inspection
Unit, the only external oversight body of the United Nations.

India`s nominee Ambassador Dilip Lahiri was re-elected to
the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(CERD), a body under the UN Human Rights system, for a
three-year term beginning January 20, 2012.

He secured 147 votes out of 167 cast in the elections
held at the UN headquarters here yesterday.

The win comes over a week after India won a key election
to the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) defeating China in a direct
fight and returning to the UN`s powerful external oversight
body after a gap of 35 years.

India`s Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said
he was "very pleased" at the CERD win, adding that "we had a
good candidate."

The win is part of a "series of elections that we
have won. What is important is to not only win but to win in
style," Puri said, referring to Lahiri securing nearly 90
per cent of the votes in the election.

He said there was very little time between the JIU
and CERD elections and he is pleased that India could still
manage an "impressive" result.

The CERD election is the latest in a series of wins
that India has been registering at various UN bodies in recent
times.

Beginning with its election to the UN Security Council
last year where it got a record 187 votes, India has been
elected to bodies like the Advisory Committee on
Administrative and Budgetary Questions, ECOSOC, Human Rights
Council and the International Law Commission.

The other election that it has its eyes on is for a
permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

The Indian mission is "very excited" with the latest
victory and the general refrain around is that "now let`s push
our head towards the big one," Puri said.

Lahiri has been India`s ambassador to Peru, Bolivia,
Spain and France and has vast experience of multilateral
diplomacy in the UN, the Non-aligned Movement and the
Commonwealth covering security and disarmament, international
law, human rights and social issues.

He has supervised the preparation of India`s reports
to the monitoring bodies of various UN human rights
instruments and also participated in the process of amending
domestic laws to conform to UN human rights instruments to
which India became party.

He has been a member of the CERD since 2008 and will
complete his current term on January 19, 2012.
Other members who were elected were from Romania,
Colombia, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, US, Russia
and China.

CERD is a body of independent experts that monitors
implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination by its state parties, which are
obliged to submit regular reports to it on how the rights are
being implemented.

CERD meets in Geneva and holds two three-week
sessions annually.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 10:11

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