Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Human Rights Council Begins Electing Members

The United Nations General Assembly meets to elect 47 members to the Human Rights Council today in New York (epa) May 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia are among the nations elected to the new UN Human Rights Council today.

Votes have been cast for four out of five regional groups vying for spots on the council. Voting is due to continue later today for the remaining regional group -- Eastern Europe.

In the first round of voting for Eastern European countries, only Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic won enough votes to be elected to the council.

Iraq, Iran, and Kyrgyzstan also failed in the first round.

The UN Human Rights Council will have 47 seats, six fewer than its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission. The council's seats are divided by regions. Eight seats will go to Latin America and the Caribbean; 13 to Africa; 13 to Asia, six to Eastern Europe; and seven to Western Europe and others, including the United States, Canada, and Israel.

(with additional material from AFP)