ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL FILLS VACANCIES ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES, INCLUDING COMMISSIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

27 April 2005
ECOSOC/6151

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL FILLS VACANCIES ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES, INCLUDING COMMISSIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

27/04/2005
Press ReleaseECOSOC/6151

Economic and Social Council

Resumed 2005 Organizational Session

7th Meeting (PM)

Economic and Social Council FILLS VACANCIES ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES,

INCLUDING COMMISSIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Economic and Social Council this afternoon filled vacancies on a number of its subsidiary bodies, including the Commission on Human Rights, to which it elected 15 members.

Elected by acclamation to the Commission on Human Rights, for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2006, were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Germany, Japan, Morocco, United States, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.  Azerbaijan was elected after one round of secret balloting.

The representatives of the United States said he was perplexed and dismayed over Zimbabwe’s election to the Commission on Human Rights, which was entirely inappropriate, considering the country’s State-sponsored violence and repressive controls on political society and the media.  According to many non-governmental and other international organizations, last month’s elections had not been free and fair.  How could Zimbabwe be expected to support international human rights standards when it disregarded the rights of its own people?

Supporting those sentiments, the representatives of Australia and Canada also stressed the need for fundamental reform of the United Nations human rights machinery.  The broad consensus was that steps must be taken to make the main body dealing with human rights more effective and credible.  Election procedures must be put in place to achieve those objectives.

Responding, Zimbabwe’s delegate said the Commission’s practice was to declare countries endorsed by regional groups elected, and his country intended to uphold that practice, as others should.  In the area of human rights, no nation was beyond reproach, and “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.

The Council will meet again Thursday, 28 April, in the afternoon.

Elections, Appointments and Nominations

The Council completed its Statistical Commission by electing, by acclamation, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania and South Africa from the African States; Jamaica from the Latin American and Caribbean States; Russian Federation from the Eastern European States; and Canada, Finland and France from the Western European and Other States.  They will all serve four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2006.

The Council then elected, also by acclamation, the following countries, to the Commission on Population and Development for a four-year term beginning at the first meeting, in 2006, of the Commission’s fortieth session and expiring at the close of the Commission’s forty-third session, in 2010:  Gambia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zambia from the African States; China, India, Lebanon and Oman from the Asian States; Russian Federation and Ukraine from the Eastern European States; Jamaica, Mexico and Uruguay from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Sweden, United States and United Kingdom from the Western European and Other States.

The Council also elected Haiti from the Latin American and CaribbeanStates for a term beginning today and expiring at the close of the Commission’s forty-first session in 2008.

As the Council proceeded to the election of 15 members of the Commission on Human Rights for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006, it elected, by acclamation, Botswana, Cameroon, Morocco and Zimbabwe from the Group of African States; Bangladesh, China and Japan from the Group of Asian States; Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Australia, Austria, Germany and United States from the Group of Western European and Other States.

Since there were more candidates from the Group of Eastern European States than there were vacancies, the Council proceeded to a secret ballot, following which it elected Azerbaijan.

Thirteen members of the Commission on the Status of Women were then elected without a vote for a four-year term beginning at the initial meeting, in 2006, of the Commission’s fifty-first session and expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-fourth session in 2010.  Cameroon, Djibouti, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia were elected from the Group of African States; Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and United Arab Emirates from the Group of Asian States; and Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States.

For the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 19 members were elected, without a vote, for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006, including the following:  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, Libya, Namibia, Niger, Senegal and Uganda from the Group of African States; China, Japan, Pakistan and Republic of Korea from the Group of Asian States; Armenia and Russian Federation from the Group of Eastern European States; Bolivia, Chile and Costa Rica from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Austria, Germany and Italy from the Group of Western European and Other States.

The Council postponed the election of one member from African States for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006.

To membership in the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Council then elected, by acclamation, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan and United Republic of Tanzania from the Group of African States; Indonesia, Kuwait and Republic of Korea from the Group of Asian States; Czech Republic and Russian Federation from the Group of Eastern European States; Antigua and Barbuda, Chile and Peru from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Australia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States from Western European and Other States.  Those countries will serve three-year terms beginning at the organizational meeting, in 2006, of the Commission’s fifteenth session and expiring at the close of the Commission’s seventeenth session in 2009.

As it went on to the Committee for Programme and Coordination, the Council nominated, for election by the General Assembly for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2006, Benin, Central African Republic, Senegal and South Africa from African States; India, Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan from Asian States; Armenia, Belarus and Bulgaria from Eastern European States; Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Uruguay from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Italy, Portugal and United Kingdom from Western European and Other States. 

The Council postponed the nomination of two members from Western European and Other States for election by the Assembly.

Next, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s decision to approve the application of Zambia for full membership in the Subcommittee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS Subcommittee) of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

The Council then proceeded to elect 20 members to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for a four-year term beginning on 1 January 2006:  Namibia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal from the Group of African States; Poland, Russian Federation and Ukraine from the Group of Eastern European States; and Bolivia, Colombia, Jamaica and Mexico from Latin American and Caribbean States.

Since the number of candidates from the Group of Asian States and the Group of Western European and Other States exceeded the number of vacancies, the Council proceeded to a secret ballot.  Having obtained the required majority, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan were elected from AsianStates; and Australia, Belgium, Canada, Turkey and United Kingdom from Western European and Other States, after one round of balloting.

For the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, the Council elected the following 14 members for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006:  Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda from African States; China and Lebanon from Asian States; Russian Federation from Eastern European States; Panama from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal and United Kingdom from Western European and Other States.

The Council postponed the election of one member from Asian States, two members from Latin American and CaribbeanStates and four members from Western European and Other States for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006. 

There were also six leftover vacancies which remained on the Working Group for terms expiring on 31 December 2005.  No candidates had been proposed to fill those vacancies.

The Council elected Arundhati Ghose (India) to fill the vacancy on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights arising from the resignation of Chokila Iyer (India).  The term of office begins today and expires on 31 December 2006.

Eleven members of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund were elected by acclamation, for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2006:  Burkina Faso and Rwanda from African States; Pakistan and Republic of Korea from Asian States; Serbia and Montenegro from Eastern European States; Colombia and Guatemala from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Canada, Denmark, Spain and United States from Western European and Other States. 

Following the decision by the General Assembly to further expand the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Council elected, by acclamation, Ghana and Romania, thereby increasing the membership from 66 to 68.

The Council would consider a request by Jordan to expand the Executive Committee at its substantive session in July.

Eleven members of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund were elected by acclamation:  Algeria and Benin from African States; Bangladesh and Pakistan from Asian States; Russian Federation from Eastern European States; Ecuador and Jamaica from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Japan, New Zealand, Norway and United Kingdom from Western European and Other States.  They will serve three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2006.

In addition, the Council elected France to complete Germany’s term, which expires on 31 December 2006, and Canada to complete Switzerland’s term, which expires on 31 December 2007.

Zimbabwe from African States; Indonesia from Asian States; Ukraine from Eastern European States; Mexico from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Japan and United Kingdom from Western European and Other States were elected to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006.

For the Programme Coordination Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Council elected, by acclamation, Democratic Republic of the Congo from African States; Grenada from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Finland and Australia from Western European and Other States, for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006.

The Council postponed the election of one member from Asian States for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2006.

In addition, the Council elected Australia to complete Canada’s term, effective today and expiring on 31 December 2005; Finland to complete Denmark’s term, effective today and expiring on 31 December 2005; Germany to complete France’s term, effective 1 January 2006 and expiring on 31 December 2007; and Italy to complete United Kingdom’s term, effective 1 January 2006 and expiring on 31 December 2006.

Haiti was elected to the Committee for the United Nations Population Award for a term beginning today and expiring on 31 December 2006.

No nominations had been received for the outstanding vacancies on the Commission on Science and Technology for Development or the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

The Council postponed the election of experts to the Committee of Experts on Public Administration to a later date.

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For information media. Not an official record.