The General Assembly today elected 18 countries to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 2013.
Argentina, Brazil, Côte d'Ivoire, Estonia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Montenegro, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates, United States and Venezuela were elected by secret ballot during the elections held at UN Headquarters in New York.
Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
The Council, composed of 47 members, is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
All of its members are elected by the world body's General Assembly, and it has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
The Council's membership is based on equitable geographical distribution and seats are distributed as follows: 13 seats for African States, 13 seats for Asian States, 8 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States, 7 seats for Western European and other States, and 6 seats for Eastern European States.
The other members of the Council and the end of their terms are as follows: Angola (2013), Austria (2014), Benin (2014), Botswana (2014), Burkina Faso (2014), Chile (2014), Congo (2014), Costa Rica (2014), Czech Republic (2014), Ecuador (2013), Guatemala (2013), India (2014), Indonesia (2014), Italy (2014), Kuwait (2014), Libya (2013), Malaysia (2013), Maldives (2013), Mauritania (2013), Peru (2014), Philippines (2014), Poland (2013), Qatar (2013), Republic of Moldova (2013), Romania (2014), Spain (2013), Switzerland (2013), Thailand (2013) and Uganda (2013).