UN readmits Libya in Human Rights Council

United Nations: The UN General Assembly today voted overwhelmingly to readmit Libya as member of the UN Human Rights Council, eight months after the Muammar Gaddafi-led North African country was suspended for the government`s violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

In a ballot in the General Assembly, 123 countries voted in favour of the restoration of Libyan membership to the Council, four countries-Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador voted against while six States abstained. India voted in favour of Libya`s readmission.

The resolution adopted in the Assembly welcomed the commitments made by Libya to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, to promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and to cooperate with the relevant international human rights mechanisms.

Libya`s deputy UN envoy Ibrahim Dabbashi told the 193- member body that the "new Libya" deserves to return as full member of the Council as the new Libyan authority of the National Transitional Council will "respect and adhere to all the obligations of Libya in the field of human rights and…pay great attention to establish rule of law".

"The new Libyan authorities understand and agree that some violations did take place during the confrontation between the revolutionary forces and the forces of the tyrant following the arrest of Gaddafi," Dabbashi said. He assured the General Assembly that the new Libyan regime will not overlook the human rights violations and atrocities committed by Gaddafi`s forces.

The 47 members of the Council, which was set up in 2006 and is based in Geneva, are divided according to a geographical formula. Libya had been elected last year, with its term scheduled to end in 2013. But Libya`s membership was suspended on March 1 after Gaddafi`s regime began its deadly crackdown against protests that were part of the wider Arab Spring that has engulfed North Africa and the Middle East this year.

Gaddafi`s regime was eventually toppled after months of fighting between pro and anti-government forces and the former leader was killed last month. The UN has established a support mission (UNSMIL) to help the country`s new authorities restore public security, plan for elections and ensure transitional justice.