Press Releases

21 May 2007

In Two Rounds of Secret Balloting, General Assembly Elects 14 Member States to Three-Year Terms on Human Rights Council

NEW YORK, 17 May (UN Headquarters) - The General Assembly today elected 14 members of the Human Rights Council in two rounds of secret balloting.

Elected to serve a three-year term beginning on 20 June, the members are Angola, Egypt, Madagascar, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Qatar, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Council, created by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 to replace the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights, seeks to address violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and to promote the effective coordination and mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system.

In accordance with the same resolution, the Council consists of 47 Member States, elected by secret ballot last year by the majority of the General Assembly Members.  Based on a membership of 192 States, the minimum required number of votes is, therefore, 97.  The membership is based on equitable geographical distribution.  The members of the Council shall serve for a period of three years.  They are not eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms and, if they fail to uphold the highest human rights standards, they can be suspended through a two-thirds majority vote by Assembly members.

At last year's elections on 9 May 2006 (see Press Release GA/10459) -- the first elections for the Council -- 14 Member States from among the 47 were chosen by the drawing of lots for a one-year term of office ending on 19 June 2007.  Those members were Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Czech Republic, Poland, Argentina, Ecuador, Finland and the Netherlands.  Sixteen Member States had announced their candidacies.

In today's elections, four members were from African States, four from the Asian States Group, and two each from the Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and other States Groups.

Earlier today, the Assembly was informed that the Seychelles had made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 21 May, to consider follow-up to the outcome of the twenty-sixth special session on implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.

Results of Voting

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


African States Group (4 seats)


Others Receiving Votes

Angola (172)

Tunisia (1)

Egypt (168)

Morocco (1)

Madagascar (182)

South Africa (175)

Asian States Group (4 seats)


Others Receiving Votes

India (185)

Timor Leste (1)

Indonesia (182)

Bahrain (1)

Philippines (179)

Qatar (170)

Eastern European States Group (2 seats)


Others Receiving Votes

Slovenia (168)

Belarus (78)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (95)

Latin American and Caribbean States Group (2 seats)


Others Receiving Votes

Bolivia (169)

Honduras (2)

Nicaragua (174)

Paraguay (2)

Belize (1)

Chile (1)

Costa Rica (1)

Western European and Other States Group (2 seats)


Others Receiving Votes

Netherlands (121)

Denmark (114)

Italy (114)

Austria (1)

Greece (1)

Portugal (1)


The results of the second round of voting to fill one remaining seat from the Eastern European States Group and one from the Western European and other States Group was as follows:

Eastern European States Group


Others Receiving Votes

Bosnia and Herzegovina (112)

Belarus (72)

Western European and Other States Group


Others Receiving Votes

Italy (101)

Denmark (86)