Qatar, Maldives, Thailand and Malaysia secure UN Human Rights Council seats after Iran withdraws candidacy

April 25, 2010

Qatar has secured membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council after Iran withdrew its candidacy for a seat on the 47-nation council responsible for monitoring rights around the globe.

The Maldives, Thailand and Malaysia have also secured their place among the 13 Asian countries days before the elections of members for the four vacant Asian seats.

“With the withdrawal of Iran, there are no longer any contested ballots,” Qatar News Agency (QNA) quoted a human rights official as saying.

Diplomats said that Tehran had pulled out from the five-nation race after it felt that it might not secure enough votes to win one of the four seats allocated for Asia.

A failure would have been highly embarrassing for Iran when council elections take place on May 13.

Iran reportedly attributed its decision to contest in the elections to preserving “the interest of solidarity with the rest of the [Asian] group.”

Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Shaheed said that his country would be getting the highest number of votes in the elections.

“We will be able to top the election… This is very strong vote of confidence to the Maldives. We have already given some signs of the works we will be carrying out [as a member of the council] within the next three years,” Shaheed told Haveeru Online. “We agreed last month to formulate a new convention on protecting the rights of children. So we will be working to strengthen the international framework of human rights. Maldives is a county that has always argued based on unbiased and strong policies.” he said.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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