Thursday, May 22, 2008
Elections were held on May 21 for 15 of the 47 seats in the UN Human Rights Council. The elections were somewhat controversial because some of the newly elected members, including Pakistan, Bahrain, Gabon and Zambia, have been critized by NGO watchdogs for their human rights records in the recent past. France and the United Kingdom also were among those elected.
In accordance with paragraph 7 of General Assembly Resoultion 60/251, the Human Rights Council "shall consist of forty-seven Member States, which shall be elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly; the membership shall be based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats shall be distributed as follows among regional groups: Group of African States, thirteen; Group of Asian States, thirteen; Group of Eastern European States, six; Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, eight; and Group of Western European and other States, seven; the members of the Council shall serve for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms”.