MEMBER STATES ELECT 15
COUNTRIES TO SERVE
ON UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
New York, May 21 2008
2:02PM Fifteen countries from around the world have been elected to serve on the
United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for three-year terms starting next
month after one round of balloting today among Member States at UN Headquarters
in New York.
Zambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso
and Gabon were chosen in that order to fill the four vacant African seats on the
47-member panel, according to a formula that allots seats among regions.
The three seats up for grabs
in the Latin America and the Caribbean region – successful candidates in each
category must obtain an absolute majority of valid votes cast by the 192 General
Assembly members – went to Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
In the Eastern European
category, Slovakia and Ukraine won the two available seats, while Serbia was
Six countries contested the
four positions distributed to Asian States, with Japan, Bahrain, the Republic of
Korea and Pakistan winning the most votes to join the panel, and Sri Lanka and
Timor-Leste missing out.
The closest contest occurred
in the race for the two vacant seats in the Western European and Other States
category. France scored 123 votes and the United Kingdom picked up 120, edging
out Spain, which garnered 119 votes.
spokesperson Janos Tisovszky told reporters that there were 190 valid votes and
two invalid votes in the Western European and Other States category. Ten of the
valid votes cast were abstentions.
Some of the successful
candidates today had been due to retire on 19 June, when their current term on
the HRC expires – they were Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Pakistan, the Republic of
Korea, Ukraine, Brazil, France and the United Kingdom.
Under Council rules, members
serve for three-year periods and cannot run for immediate re-election after two
consecutive terms. Overall, the 47 members include 13 from Africa, 13 from Asia,
six from Eastern Europe, eight from Latin America and the Caribbean, and seven
from Western Europe and Other States.