General Assembly, by Secret Ballot, Elects 15 Member States to Serve Three-Year Terms on Human Rights Council

The General Assembly today elected, by secret ballot, 15 States to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

Those elected were Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine. All would serve three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2018.

The 15 outgoing members were Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal and Qatar. In accordance with Assembly resolution 60/251, those Member States were eligible for immediate re-election except the delegation which had served two consecutive terms, namely Botswana, Congo, India and Indonesia.

The 15 new members were elected according to the following pattern: 4 seats for African States; 4 seats for Asia-Pacific States; 2 seats for Eastern European States; 3 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States; and 2 seats for Western European and other States.

Newly elected to the Geneva-based body were Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine. Qatar was re-elected for an additional term.

Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak (Slovakia) announced that the following States would also continue as members of the Council: Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, China, CAte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

Created by the Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council comprises 47 elected Member States. On the basis of equitable geographical distribution, Council seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows: African States, 13 seats; Asia Pacific States, 13 seats; Eastern European States, 6 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States, 8 seats; and Western European and other States, 7 seats.

At the outset, Mr. Lajcak extended his condolences to the delegation and people of Somalia for the terrorist attacks that had taken place in Mogadishu over the weekend, underscoring his outrage over the loss of innocent life. Those horrific incidents further highlighted the need to tackle terrorism in all its forms, he said, including by addressing root causes.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 18 October, to consider the reports of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

Source: United Nations