The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday elected 18 countries to serve on the Human Rights Council, the UN body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
Those elected are Belgium, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Slovenia.
Others are Switzerland, Togo, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
All would serve three-year terms beginning on Jan. 1, 2016.
The 18 outgoing members are Argentina, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Estonia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan and Kenya.
Others are Montenegro, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates, United States and Venezuela.
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, the United States.
The 18 new members were elected according to the following pattern: five seats for African States, five seats for Asia-Pacific States, two seats for Eastern European States, three seats for Latin American and Caribbean States and three seats for Western European and other States.
Of those elected, Burundi, Georgia, Togo, Mongolia and Panama will be sitting on the Geneva-based body for the first time.
Re-elected for an additional term were Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
Speaking after the election, Assembly President Federico Gonzàlez announced that Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Botswana would also continue as members of the Human Rights Council:
Others are China, Congo, Cuba, El Salvador, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands and Nigeria.
Others are Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom and Viet Nam.
He noted that, in accordance with Assembly resolution 65/281, beginning in 2013, the Human Rights Council would start its yearly membership cycle on Jan. 1.
As a transitional measure, he said, the period of office of its members ending in June 2015 had been exceptionally extended until the end of the calendar year.
The Human Rights Council was created by the Assembly in May 2006 (resolution 60/251) as the principal UN body dealing with human rights. It 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, six seats; Latin American and Caribbean States, eight seats; and Western European and other States, seven seats.
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