24 countries elected to UN human rights commission

24 countries elected to UN human rights commission

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) - the United Nations forum that coordinates the work of specialized agencies, functional and regional commissions - today held elections to fill vacancies in its various subsidiary bodies, including the choice of 24 countries for its key human rights commission.

The 53-member Commission on Human Rights, based in Geneva, promotes universal enjoyment of all human rights by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of the world community as expressed by the United Nations. It plays the leading role on human rights issues and emphasizes the importance of rights at the international and national levels, promoting international cooperation.

Fifteen countries won new terms to the Commission by acclamation, including Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mauritania and South Africa from the Africa region. Hungary and the Russian Federation were selected from the group of Eastern Europe states, while Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru were chosen from the Latin American and the Caribbean States.

Secret ballots were held to determine representatives in Asia and Western Europe. Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom won the European seats, while Bhutan, India, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia represent the Asian region.

Elections filled vacancies on a number of other bodies, including those dealing with sustainable development, the status of women, narcotic drugs, population, crime prevention, science and technology. ECOSOC also elected Executive Board members to several UN agencies.