India's lack of support for the Council's action
on country-specific violations is a large concern given its role as an emerging
global leader. India remained skeptical about the Council’s mandate to respond
to situations of violations and acted as a bystander on a majority of country-specific
initiatives in the Council.
Voting Record in 2016
Voting Record in 2015
India’s voting record concerning country-specific resolutions further deteriorated in 2014. India voted in favor of all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT). But it abstained on the resolution on Sri Lanka after supporting a non-action motion proposed by Pakistan to adjourn the debate on the issue. It voted against the resolution on Iran, after having abstained on it during the first two years of its mandate at the Council. India opposed the resolution on Belarus and abstained on the resolutions on Syria, Ukraine and North Korea, in spite of very grave human rights violations occurring in these countries.
The contrast between India's vote on the OPTs and its failures to support responses on all other situations raises serious questions about double standards and selectivity in its approach to the Council.
India has become one of the states least supportive of the Council’s mandate to address country situations. Its lack of commitment to the Council’s mandate is further illustrated by the fact that India is one of seven Council members that failed to co-sponsor any country resolution, including under Item 7, and one of only two delegations that did not support the convening of any special session this year. Additionally, India’s interventions in Council debates on country situations in 2014 were minimal at best.
In a statement delivered in September during the Council’s Item 4 debate, India clarified its approach to the Council’s work on situations of concern, emphasizing that it supports greater cooperation and dialogue and rejects finger-pointing and putting a spotlight on country situations.
India should commit to fully implementing the Council’s mandate to address situations of gross and systematic human rights violations and promptly respond to emergencies. India should also acknowledge that country-specific resolutions can play a key role in shedding light on abuses, give a stronger voice to victims and expose violations with a view to ensuring accountability.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
India abstained on a majority of country resolutions voted at the Council, including all but one of the resolutions on the Syrian crisis. India rejected resolutions on the human rights situation in Belarus and did not support any of the key joint statements delivered on country situations. India was one of only two member states that did not co-sponsor any country resolutions in 2012 and 2013.
One exception to India's aversion to Council action on country situations was India’s vote in favor of resolutions on accountability in Sri Lanka. India’s votes in this case reflected domestic pressure for Sri Lanka to be held to account for the deaths of thousands of civilians during the last phase of the conflict in 2009.
India also voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
India's lack of commitment to the Council's work on country-specific violations was also visible in the scarcity of its interventions on country-specific debates. From June 2011 to September 2013, India intervened in only two debates on country situations. India should enhance its membership in the Council by expanding its participation in the country-specific debates, and should recognize that the same concerns that made a vote in favor of the Sri Lanka resolution appropriate are found in many other country situations.