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UN General Assembly elects four African nations, others to Human Rights Council 

The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday conducted an election to appoint 15 new member countries to serve on the Human Rights Council, of which four of the new members hail from African nations: Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Malawi.

After the casting and tallying of ballots, Assembly President Dennis Francis officially announced the new members: Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Malawi, and the Netherlands.

They will assume their roles for a three-year term commencing on January 1, 2024. Notably, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, and Malawi secured re-election for their second terms.

Composition and regional allocation of seats in the UN Human Rights Council 

The Human Rights Council is a prominent UN body responsible for the global promotion and protection of fundamental human rights. Established in 2006, it consists of 47 member states, selected through a secret ballot by the majority of General Assembly members.

To ensure a fair distribution of seats across geographical regions, the Council allocates its seats to regional groups of states as follows: Africa (13), Asia-Pacific (13), Eastern Europe (6), Latin American and Caribbean (8), and Western European and others (7).

Among African nations, Malawi received the highest number of votes with 182, followed closely by Côte d’Ivoire with 181, Ghana with 179, and Burundi with 168. In the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia secured 186 votes, Kuwait 183, Japan 175, and China 154.

In Eastern Europe, Bulgaria received 160 votes, Albania 123, and Russia 83. It’s worth noting that Russia was seeking re-election to the Human Rights Council after its withdrawal from the body on April 7, 2022.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba received 146 votes, followed by Brazil with 144, the Dominican Republic with 137, and Peru with 108. Notably, this marks the first time the Dominican Republic has been elected to the Human Rights Council.

For the Western European and other group, the Netherlands received 169 votes, and France received 153.

Current and continuing members of the UN Human Rights Council 

These new members will join the existing Human Rights Council members on January 1, 2024, which include Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, and Luxembourg. Additionally, Malaysia, Maldives, Montenegro, Morocco, Paraguay, Qatar, Romania, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and Vietnam are part of the council.

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