UNITED NATIONS, New York – The Bahamas was among the 18 Member States elected by the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, October 12, 2018 to its Human Rights Council (HRC), the United Nations body responsible for promoting and protecting all human rights around the globe.
Elected to HRC by secret ballot are Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czechia, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Philippines, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay, according to a UN press release.
All 18 members will serve three-year terms beginning on January 1, 2019. This is the first time a CARICOM Country has been elected to the Council, and The Bahamas and Fiji are the only two small island developing states (SIDs) elected to serve during this period.
The 18 outgoing members are Belgium, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Togo, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. In accordance with Assembly resolution 60/251, those Member States were eligible for immediate re-election except delegations which had already served two consecutive terms – Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
“The 18 new members were elected according to the following pattern: 5 seats for African States; 5 seats for Asia-Pacific States; 2 seats for Eastern European States; 3 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States; and 3 seats for Western European and other States,” the UN press release noted.
“Newly elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council were Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czechia, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Somalia and Uruguay. The Philippines and Togo were re-elected for an additional term,” according to the release.
Continuing, the release added, “Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador) announced that the following States will also continue as members of the Council: Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
“Created by the General Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations entity 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.”