Malawi wins seat on UN Human Rights Council

Malawi has won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the first time since the UNHRC was formed in 2006

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday elected Malawi as a member of the UNHRC for a term of 3 years beginning 2021.

According to the Malawi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malawi got an overwhelming majority of 180 votes out of 190.

“This is a demonstration of the confidence by UN Member States in the Republic of Malawi towards promotion and consolidation of human rights in the country and her contribution at a global level,” the Ministry said on Tuesday.

The UN General Assembly elections in New York, USA were held in order to fill 15 vacant seats for the term 2021-2023.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is based in Geneva and is responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights at the international level. It conducts universal periodic reviews of the human rights records of all Member States. It gives member states an opportunity to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

Membership

The council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot.

The General Assembly takes into account the candidate states’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.

The council’s membership is based on equitable geographical distribution.  African and Asia-Pacific states have 13 seats each while Latin American and Caribbean States have eight seat.  Western European and other States have seven seats while Eastern European States have six seats

Members of the council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

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