Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Ambassador Masood Khan talking to the media after Pakistan was elected to United Nations Human Rights Council. -APP

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan on Monday was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, an intergovernmental body within the UN system.

Pakistan, which had the endorsement of the Asia Group, polled 171 votes, when 97 were required.

“Pakistan's political leadership, parliament and judiciary have all proactively pushed the human rights agenda,” Ambassador Masood Khan said.

“Our membership of the Human Rights Council acts as a catalyst for higher attention to human rights back home,” he said.

"Our entire leadership, all political forces and national institutions support promotion and protection of human rights. We have put human rights as a top priority on our national agenda," Ambassador Khan added.

The United States and Germany won a closely contested race among western nations.

The Geneva-based council is mandated to promote and protect human rights and prevent human rights violations.

The 47-member body is composed of 13 countries from Africa, 13 from Asia, six from Eastern Europe, eight from Latin America and the Caribbean, and seven from Western Europe and other states.

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