12 May 2009
General Assembly
GA/10826

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Plenary

83rd Meeting (AM)


UNITED STATES ELECTED TO HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL FOR FIRST TIME, WITH BELGIUM,


HUNGARY, KYRGYZSTAN, NORWAY, AS 18 SEATS FILLED IN SINGLE ROUND OF VOTING


The General Assembly today elected 18 States to serve on the Human Rights Council for three-year terms starting next month, five of which will be sitting on the Geneva-based panel for the first time:† Belgium, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Norway and the United States.


Re-elected for an additional term were the following 13 members: † Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Uruguay.† The terms of office for all members elected today will begin on 19 June.


The Human Rights Council was created by the General Assembly in May 2006 (resolution 60/251) as the United Nations principal political human rights body.† It replaced the much-criticized Commission on Human Rights (abolished in June 2006), and is composed of 47 elected Member States that must uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.


Based on equitable geographical distribution, seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows:† African Group, 13 seats; Asian Group, 13 seats; Eastern European Group, 6 seats; Latin American and Caribbean Group, 8 seats; and Western and Others Group, 7 seats.


The Councilís founding resolution called for its members to be directly elected by an absolute majority of votes in the 192-member Assembly, or 97 votes.† Members could be suspended by a two-thirds majority vote by Assembly members if they are deemed to be deficient in upholding human rights standards.


Membership in the Council, which is staggered, is open to all United Nations Member States.† Council members are not eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.†


Voting Results


The results of the one round of voting were as follows:


African States (5 seats)

Elected

Others Receiving Votes


Senegal (165)

Kenya (133)

Mauritius (162)


Nigeria (148)


Cameroon (142)


Djibouti (141)


Asian States (5 seats)

Elected

Others Receiving Votes


Jordan (178)

Malaysia (2)

Kyrgyzstan (174)


Bangladesh (171)


China (167)


Saudi Arabia (154)


Eastern European States (2 seats)

Elected

Others Receiving Votes


Russian Federation (146)

Azerbaijan (89)

Hungary (131)


Latin American and Caribbean States (3 seats)

Elected

Others Receiving Votes


Mexico (175)


Uruguay (173)


Cuba (163)


Western European and Other States (3 States)

Elected

Others Receiving Votes


Belgium (177)

Switzerland (2)

Norway (179)

Greece (1)

United States (167)

New Zealand (1)


In other business today, the Assembly noted that Malawi had made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.


[Under Article 19, a Member State in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly.]


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For information media • not an official record