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12 countries elected to serve new terms on Human Rights Council

The UN General Assembly elects members of the Human Rights Council.
UN Photo/Cia Pak
The UN General Assembly elects members of the Human Rights Council.

12 countries elected to serve new terms on Human Rights Council

UN Affairs

The UN General Assembly elected a dozen new countries on Thursday to serve on the Human Rights Council, while Germany and Sudan secured second terms.

After the ballots were cast and counted, Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi named Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Romania, South Africa and Viet Nam to serve for three years, beginning 1 January, 2023.

South Korea and Venezuela, failed to be re-elected to the top human rights body, which is based at the UN in Geneva. 

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Getting counted

The Council, tasked with the responsibility to uphold and advance human rights globally, consists of 47 member States, elected via secret ballot by the majority of General Assembly members.

Their selection is based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats are distributed among regional groups of States from Africa (13); Asia-Pacific (13); Eastern European (6); Latin American and Caribbean (8); and Western European and others (7).

Full tally

Breaking down how each of the successful candidates fared in relation to their competitors, Mr. Kőrösi announced that South Africa topped the voting for African nations, with 182 votes, followed by Algeria (178), Morocco (178), and Sudan (157).

Moving to Asia and the Pacific, Bangladesh secured 160 votes, followed by the Maldives (154), Viet Nam (145), Kyrgyzstan (126), Korea, (123); Afghanistan (12), Bahrain (1), Mongolia (1).

In Eastern Europe, Georgia secured 178 votes, Romania, 176; and Latin America and the Caribbean, saw Chile secure 144 votes, followed by Costa Rica (134) and Venezuela (88).

Finally, for the Western Europe grouping, Belgium received 169 votes, followed by Germany with 167, and San Marino (1).

Each Council member serves for a three-year period, eligible for one consecutive re-election term only, with the yearly membership cycle beginning on 1 January.

Today’s members

The full membership of the current Council is Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Czech Republic, Eritrea, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.

On 6 December 2021, Federico Villegas of Argentina was elected president for 2022.

At that time, he vowed to make sure that the Human Rights Council was a “stable platform to increase dialogue and deepen understanding about commonalities and differences about human rights”.