21 October 2014
Sixty-ninth session, 29th Meeting (AM)

In Single Secret Ballot, General Assembly Elects 15 Member States to Three-Year Terms of Human Rights Council

The General Assembly today elected 15 States to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

All would serve three-year terms starting 1 January 2015.

Those elected were Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal and Qatar. 

The 15 outgoing members were Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Peru, Philippines and Romania.  In accordance with Assembly resolution 60/251, those Member States were eligible for immediate re-election except those who had served two consecutive terms, namely Burkina Faso and Chile.

The 15 members were elected according to the following pattern: four seats for African States, four seats for Asia-Pacific States, two seats for Eastern European States, three seats for Latin American and Caribbean States, and two seats for Western European and other States.

Of those elected, Albania, El Salvador, Latvia, Paraguay and Portugal will be sitting on the Geneva-based panel for the first time.  Re-elected for an additional term were Botswana, Congo, India and Indonesia, while Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana, Netherlands, Nigeria and Qatar had served previous terms.

The following States would continue to be members of the Human Rights Council: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

He noted that, in accordance with Assembly resolution 65/281, beginning in 2013, the Human Rights Council started its yearly membership cycle on 1 January.  As a transitional measure, the period of office of members of the Council ending in June 2014 had been exceptionally extended until the end of the calendar year.

Created by the General Assembly in May 2006 (resolution 60/251) as the principal United Nations body dealing with human rights, the 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.

The Council’s founding resolution calls for the direct election of its members by an absolute majority of votes in the 193-member Assembly, or 97 votes.  Members can be suspended by a two-thirds majority vote if deemed to be deficient in upholding human rights standards.  Membership, which is staggered, is open to all Member States, and members are not eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 28 to consider the Secretary-General’s report on the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.

Voting Results

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


African States (4 seats)



Others receiving votes:

Ghana (187)

Democratic Republic of Congo (2)

Nigeria (187)

Benin (2)

Congo (185)


Botswana (183)



Asian States (4 seats)



Others receiving votes:

India (162)

Kuwait (2)

Indonesia (152)

Cambodia (1)

Bangladesh (149)

Philippines (1)

Qatar (142)

Bahrain (1)

Not elected


Thailand (136)



Eastern European States (2 seats)



Others receiving votes:

Albania (176)

Romania (3)

Latvia (175)

Lithuania (1)


Czech Republic (1)


Latin American and Caribbean States (3 seats)


Others receiving votes:

El Salvador (151)

Peru (2)

Bolivia (144)


Paraguay (139)


Not elected


Costa Rica (120)



Western European and Other States (2 seats)


Others receiving votes:

Portugal (184)

Italy (1)

Netherlands (172)

Greece (1)


For information media. Not an official record.