2012 Elections to the UN Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

The Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

© UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre


UPDATE: The following states were elected to the UN Human Rights Council on 12 November 2012: Argentina, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Estonia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Montenegro, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

 

The United Nations General Assembly should only elect candidates that have demonstrated a solid commitment to human rights


The UN Human Rights Council is most effective in promoting and protecting human rights when its members are firmly committed to human rights.  The election of 18 new members on 12 November 2012 is an opportunity to ensure that only States with a demonstrated commitment to protecting human rights are elected to serve on the Council.  Council members are elected directly and individually by States at the General Assembly and on the basis of their commitment to human rights.  Members of the Council are required to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Candidate States

Amnesty International calls on UN Member States that are candidates in the forthcoming elections to:
•    Declare their candidacy at least 30 days in advance of the elections.
•    Submit concrete, credible and measurable pledges to promote and protect human rights at the national and international levels.
•    Be prepared to present their pledges and vision of the Council in public discussion in advance of the elections.

Amnesty International expects States that are candidates to serve on the Human Rights Council to:
•    Contribute to prompt and effective action by the United Nations to address situations of human rights violations.
•    Participate fully in the Universal Periodic Review, both as the State under review and as reviewing State.
•    Have ratified the core human rights treaties and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 

Twenty states declared their candidacy for the 2012 Human Rights Council elections.

For an overview of the election pledges for all candidate countries, click on the PDF file at the bottom of this page.  For best printing results of the pledges overview, use A3-sized paper.

Click here to view the open letters from Amnesty International commenting on each candidate country's election pledges and noting additional opportunities for the government to promote and protect human rights.

The table below organizes the candidate countries by region and provides links to each country's election pledges, open letter from Amnesty International, and Amnesty International information on the human rights situation in the country. 

African States (5 vacant seats)
Asian States
(5 vacant seats)
Eastern European States (2 vacant seats)Latin American and Caribbean States (3 vacant seats)Western Europe and Other States (3 vacant seats)

Cote d'Ivoire

- Pledges
- Open Letter*
News and publications

Japan

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Estonia

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

 

Argentina

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Germany

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Ethiopia

- Pledges
- Open Letter*
News and publications

Kazakhstan

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Montenegro

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Brazil

- Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

  Greece

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Gabon

- Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Republic of Korea

Pledges
- Open Letter
- News and publications

 

  

Venezuela (Bolivarian
Republic of)

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Ireland

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Kenya

- Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Pakistan

- Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

  

Sweden

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

Sierra Leone

- Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

United Arab Emirates

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

  

United States of America

Pledges
- Open Letter
News and publications

 * This open letter was issued prior to the candidate state's election pledges being made available on the UN web site or Amnesty International otherwise receiving a copy of the state's pledges.

 

Electing States

Amnesty International urges all UN Members to elect only States that have demonstrated their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.  

Amnesty International calls on UN Member States at the General Assembly to:
•    Carefully consider each candidate’s human rights record and demonstrated commitment to human rights, including as expressed in their voluntary election pledges.
•    Vote only for those candidates that meet the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights even if, in some instances, this means leaving the ballot blank.



Read more:

Press Release: UN Human Rights Council elections: no room for double standards
Amnesty International Public Statement: 2012 Elections to the Human Rights Council
UN General Assembly Elections page
OHCHR guidance on voluntary pledges and commitments by candidates for election to the Human Rights Council
Amnesty International Human Rights Council Elections 2011 page

How you can help

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