Wednesday, October 22, 2014

General Assembly elects 15 members to UN Human Rights Council

A delegate casts his country's ballot in the election of members for the Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The General Assembly today elected 15 countries to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 2015.

In one round of secret balloting at UN Headquarters in New York, the Assembly elected Albania, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal and Qatar.

Bolivia, Botswana, Congo, India and Indonesia, whose terms were due to expire at the end of this year, were re-elected today.

Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

The distribution of seats for the current election was as follows: 4 seats allotted to the African States Group; 4 for the Asia-Pacific Group; 2 for the Eastern European Group; 3 for the Latin American and Caribbean Group; and 2 for the Western European and Other States Group.

The Councils’ outgoing members are: Austria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Peru Philippines and Romania.

Created by the Assembly in 2006, the 47-member Council, is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

All of its members are elected by the world body’s General Assembly, and it has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

Those elected today will be joining in the following States who will remain on the Council: Algeria (2016); Argentina (2015); Brazil (2015); China (2016); Côte d’Ivoire (2015); Cuba (2016); Estonia (2015); Ethiopia (2015); France (2016); Gabon (2015); Germany (2015); Ireland (2015); Japan (2015); Kazakhstan (2015); Kenya (2015): Maldives (2016): Mexico (2016): Montenegro (2015); Morocco (2016); Namibia (2016); Pakistan (2015); Republic of Korea (2015); Russia (2016); Saud Arabia (2016); Sierra Leone (2015); South Africa (2016); the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2016); United Arab Emirates (2015); United Kingdom (2016); United States (2015); Venezuela (2015); and Viet Nam (2016).