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Current Affairs

UN Human Rights Council

Date: 09 April 2022 Tags: International Organizations

Issue

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a draft resolution to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

 

Background

A massacre came to light in Bucha near Kyiv. Ukraine claims that Russia committed genocide in the region.

 

Details

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. It works under the aegis of UN.

 

Functions

Its main function is to address and make recommendations on situations of human rights violations, and can discuss all human rights issues and situations.

 

Working

The UN Commission on Human Rights was replaced by HRC. It was created by UNGA in 2006 and its first session was held the same year.

 

Membership

  • The council is made up of 47 member states from UNGA. They are elected by majority vote through a direct and secret ballot at the UNGA.

  • The representation is based on equitable geographical distribution. The members serve for three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.

 

Governance

The governing body consists of a president and four vice-presidents. They serve for a year each and represent one of the five regional groups.

 

Meetings

  • The UNHRC must hold three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least 10 weeks. They take place in March (4 weeks), June (3 weeks) and September (3 weeks).

  • The can decide to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies if a third of member states requests.

UN Human Rights Council

Date: 18 October 2019 Tags: International Organizations

Issue

Venezuela has been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite fierce lobbying by the United States and rights groups to prevent its entry.

 

Background

The United States has been trying to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse and is accused of corruption and human rights violations .

 

Details

  • The U.N. General Assembly has elected a total 14 Human Rights Council members from five regional blocs. Germany, the Netherlands, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia and Sudan were elected uncontested but still needed to win a majority vote.

  • Armenia, Poland, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, South Korea and Japan beat competition in their regional blocs to win seats with Japan winning a second term.

 

UN Human Rights Council

  • 13 for the African Group

  • 13 for the Asia-Pacific Group

  • 6 for the Eastern European Group

  • 8 for the Latin American and Caribbean Group

  • 7 for the Western European and Others Group