14 Countries Join UN Human Rights Council

The U.N. General Assembly elected 14 countries on May 13 to serve three-year terms on the Human Rights Council starting June.

Filling the four vacant seats for Africa are Uganda, Mauritania, Libya and Angola. The two vacant seats for Latin America and the Caribbean went to Ecuador and Guatemala. Poland and Moldova were elected to assume the two available seats for Eastern Europe, while Spain and Switzerland got the available slots for Western Europe. Malaysia, Qatar, the Maldives and Thailand secured the available seats for Asian countries.

The 14 nations complete the 47-seat lineup of the Human Rights Council.

Human Right Watch earlier expressed dismay that Angola, Libya, Uganda, Malaysia and Thailand were among the candidates for seats in the council. The non-governmental organization argued that these countries should not be eligible for membership because of their poor record in upholding human rights.

“I think it’s fair to say that this year, there is a small number of countries whose human rights records is problematic that are likely to be elected and we regret that,” U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said when asked to comment on complaints about some countries’ membership in the council.

But she added: “I’m not going to sit here and name names. I don’t think it’s particularly constructive at this point.”

Rice is the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.