UN HRC: International Advocacy and Human Rights Mechanisms – Update on the HRC Elections at the General Assembly

October 2017

Dear PAI Members, PAI Staff,

The Human Rights Council (HRC) elections just took place at the General Assembly,
hereunder is the link: http://yourhrc.org/2017-elections/

Elections usually take place annually, the terms are for three years and are rotated amongst the regional bloc member states. So only about 2/4 seats of the 47-member body become available each year. The elections have been roundly criticised as each regional bloc essentially arranges and manipulates the result, meaning that the elections are rarely competitive, and states’ actual human rights records rarely determine whether or not they become members.

In Africa the newly elected members are Angola, DRC, Nigeria and Senegal. These will be replacing Botswana, Ghana, Congo and Nigeria whose terms expire in December 2017. It would be great to discuss how we can engage each of these States in our UN strategy for the next 2 – 3 years. SOGIESC issues have become extremely polarised and it is therefore most important to identify the possible allies at the very onset, as we have lost Botswana and Ghana, whose voting records on SOGIESC resolutions have been moderately progressive.

For more information on the membership of the HRC please visit the website here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/MembersByGroup.aspx

For background information on UNGA elections and appointments go to: http://www.un.org/en/ga/72/meetings/elections/hrc.shtml