By Prudence Arobani
The UN General Assembly on Monday elected, by secret ballot, Nigeria and 14 other countries to serve on the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2018 to 2020 term.
UNHRC is the highest intergovernmental body in the UN system for matters relating to protection and promotion of human rights worldwide.
The other newly elected countries to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council are Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.
All would serve three-year terms beginning on Jan. 1, 2018.
Africa and Asia-Pacific have four seats each on the council; three seats for Latin American and Caribbean; two seats for Eastern European States; and two seats for Western European and other States.
On the basis of equitable geographical distribution, Council seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows: African States, 13 seats; Asia-Pacific States, 13 seats; Eastern European States, six seats; Latin America and Caribbean States, eight seats; and Western European and other States, seven seats.
Ghana and Nigeria are already serving out their tenure for the 2015 to 2017 term while Ghana, which initially sought re-election like Nigeria, stepped down for Nigeria to get on board for another term.
Nigeria has illustriously served the global community on the UNHRC for three terms since the establishment of the Council in 2006.
These are 2006 to 2009, 2009 to 2012 and currently, 2015 to 2017, and with the reelection, would remain on the Council till 2020.
NAN reports that the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN hosted a reception for envoys to launch Nigeria’s re-election bid on Friday in New York and solicit countries’ “firm support” for Nigeria’s re-election on the council.
The 47-member council was created by the General Assembly in 2006 to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, address situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
Its meetings are held at the UN Office in Geneva, located at Palais des Nations, which used to house the League of Nations, dissolved in 1946. (NAN)