United Nations

Human Rights Council - Election

On May 9, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly elected all 47 initial members of the new U.N. Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch had urged U.N. member states to seize the opportunity to select a council genuinely committed to advancing human rights. The requirement of an absolute majority of the full U.N. membership (96 votes) to win election to the council was designed to avoid the election of abusive states, and member states should decline to support countries with poor human rights records, and should vote for countries likely to use their council membership to actively promote human rights.

Human Rights Watch has now added tables showing the results of the 2006 election for the Human Rights Council.

Click on a Region to view its candidates
(13 Seats)
(13 Seats)
Eastern Europe
(6 Seats)

The resolution establishing the new council requires the General Assembly, in electing council members, to “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.” It requires council members to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,” and to cooperate with the council, including its special investigators.

The table above links to charts summarizing aspects of the human rights records of candidate countries in each of the five U.N. regional groups, including their cooperation with U.N. human rights investigators and their voting records on recent human rights resolutions in the U.N. General Assembly and the former Commission on Human Rights (if they were members). Further links offer more detailed information on each candidate. Human Rights Watch posted this information to assist U.N. member states and civil society in evaluating candidates for the new Human Rights Council based on the standards in its founding resolution.




United Nations
Special Focus: Human Rights Council Election, May 2006
Briefing to the 61st Session of the UNCHR

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