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Europeans, Asians battle for UN power seats

Europeans, Asians battle for UN power seats

United Nations, United States: Three European countries and two Asian nations are battling for seats on the UN Security Council in elections on Tuesday that are drawing attention to the refugee crisis and human rights.

Five non-permanent seats are up for grabs in the vote at the UN General Assembly, but two are all but decided.

Ethiopia and Bolivia are running unopposed after their regional grouping put them forward as their candidates, but they must still pick up two-thirds of votes cast in the 193-nation assembly.

Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden are competing for two spots while Kazakhstan and Thailand are squaring off for a seat reserved for Asia.

On the eve of the vote, Human Rights Watch called on UN member-states to take a cold, hard look at the human rights record of Kazakhstan and Thailand.

Thailand´s military junta, which seized power in May 2014, has banned political activity and ramped up prosecutions under tough sedition and royal defamation laws.

“Thailand´s pledges to lead the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide as a Security Council member ring hollow in the face of its widespread abuses at home,” said HRW´s deputy director for global advocacy, Philippe Bolopion.

Vying for a council seat for the first time since its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has been criticized for cracking down on journalists and political activists.

“Debate happens in UN corridors in New York in a way that is not allowed in Kazakhstan itself,” Bolopion said.

Courtesy : TheNews



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