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Armenia Wins Seat On UN Human Rights Council

Armenia was one of 14 new members elected to the UN Human Rights Council.

Armenia has been elected as one of 14 new members of the UN Human Rights Council, receiving votes from 144 of 193 countries.

Armenia and Poland on October 17 received required votes in the secret ballot to win the two new seats available for the Eastern Europe region on the 47-seat council, with Moldova missing the cut.

"This is a testament to the great confidence of the international community in our country, especially in the field of human rights," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian wrote on his Facebook page.

Indonesia, Japan, the Marshall Islands, and South Korea won the four seats in the Asia-Pacific region, with Iraq falling short.

Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, and Sudan won the seats for Africa, while Germany and the Netherlands were awarded the two seats reserved for their region.

Venezuela and Brazil took the seats for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Venezuela's candidacy was criticized by many in the West over accusations of human rights violations by the Caracas government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

The embattled socialist president has been accused of using torture, extrajudicial killings, and intimidation to maintain power amid mass protests by anti-government opponents.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on October 15 urged members to vote against Venezuela's membership.

"Venezuela's abusive government clearly falls short of minimum standards for membership," it said.

The naming of new members of the council for two-year terms is staggered. The latest 14 members will serve for the 2020-22 term.

The Geneva-based council is an international body within the UN system and is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world.

It has the authority to launch fact-finding missions and set commissions of inquiry into specific issues.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Armenian Service
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