The UN General Assembly held on October, 12 the election 18 countries to sit on the Human Rights Council (HRC). On this occasion, 5 of the 13 seats reserved for the African continent were renewed for a 3-year term. Stake experts examines the new composition of African seats at the HRC.
Several international NGOs strongly reacted to the election of Eritrea, Somalia, and Cameroon to the HRC. Louis Charbonneau of Human Rights Watch told AFP that “by favoring countries that violate human rights and presenting only a number of candidates equal to the number of seats to be provided for, regional groups may undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the Council.”
This is not the first time that the election of some African countries to the HRC is condemned. One remembers the statement of the US Ambassador to the United Nations in 2017, in reaction to the election of the DRC: “Human rights are too important to let an outdated system continue to exist without being controlled or reformed (…) When African group countries advance the candidacy of a country like the Democratic Republic of the Congo to become a member of the Human Rights Council, this does not only weaken the institution but also feeds the conflict that causes so much suffering on this Continent,” Nikki Halley said then. It was a few months before his country withdrew from the HRC.