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Wed 4 Jan 2017 01:50 PM

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Saudi Arabia to begin three-year term in UN Human Rights Council

Gulf kingdom is re-elected despite its continued practise of controversial human rights laws

Saudi Arabia to begin three-year term in UN Human Rights Council

Saudi Arabia begun its three-year term at the UN Human Rights Council on Sunday after being re-elected in October last year amid instability in the Middle East.

Together with 13 new member nations, the Arab state will be responsible for promoting and protecting human rights as well as dealing with human rights issues across the world, reported Arab News.

“Joining the UNHCR for a second term indicates the growing stature of the Kingdom on the one hand and the trust of the international community in the Saudi leadership on the other,” said Ibrahim Al-Qayid, founding member of the National Society of Human Rights (NSHR).

Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, said the re-election “reflects the international community’s trust in the pioneering and leading role played by the Kingdom.”

Saudi Arabia was re-elected alongside China, Cuba, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Qatar’s membership in the council will end on December 31, 2017, while the UAE’s will cease on December 31, 2018.

The newly elected member states of the Geneva-based body include Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Croatia, Hungary, Brazil, Japan, Rwanda and the United States.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia are based on the country’s Sharia Islamic Law. It’s male guardianship system and female driving ban has resulted in the Gulf state’s ranking as one of the worst countries for human rights.

In a positive move in August, authorities allowed Saudi women to register to vote and to run for office in municipal elections in December.