Sources said the loss came as a huge shock to the Pakistani delegation that had appeared confident of winning the seat.

The General Assembly elected 18 members through a secret ballot.

The new members, who will start their three-year terms beginning January 1 next year, are Belgium, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Togo, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Pakistan lost the seat in the Asia-Pacific category in which five seats were vacant.

It was a member of the 47-nation Council and its term was set to expire on December 31, 2015. India is also a member of the Council and its term will end in 2017.

Members of the Council are elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.

Days before the vote, human rights bodies had opposed the re-election of Venezuela, Pakistan and the UAE to the UN Human Rights Council due to widespread criticism of these governments for egregious human rights violations.

According to a report by UN Watch, Human Rights Foundations, and the Lantos Foundation, Pakistan, the UAE, Burundi and Ecuador were cited by human rights groups for having committed serious violations of numerous articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including curbs on the freedoms of speech, press, religion, and assembly, along with disregard for fundamental due process.

The candidate countries were also found to have voted against UN resolutions taking action for victims of human rights abuses in various hotspots, UN watch said.

Sources in the Indian Mission to the UN here welcomed the election of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan against the backdrop of historical visits undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to these nations earlier this year.


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