October 18, 2019 - 10:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - 14 new members, including Armenia, were elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, October 17, following a secret ballot held in the General Assembly Hall in New York.
The Council, which meets throughout the year at the UN Office in Geneva, is an international body, within the UN system, made up of 47 States, and is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. It has the power to launch fact-finding missions and establish commissions of inquiry into specific situations.
Three times a year, it reviews the human rights records of UN Member States, in a special process designed to give countries the chance to present the actions they have taken, and what they’ve done, to advance human rights. This is known as the Universal Periodic Review.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described Armenia's election as "a strong testimony of recognition by the international community of our democratic transformation and substantial progress in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, meanwhile, commented on the "great result" and said Armenia is "committed to working hard and cooperating with all our partners in promoting the human rights agenda."
Venezuela, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Marshall Islands, Republic of Korea, Poland,Libya, Mauritania, Namibia and Sudan also won seats in the Human Rights Council.
The newly elected countries will serve for three years and take up their seats after December 31. As only 47 of the UN’s 193 Member States can sit on the Council at any one time, an equal number will be giving up their places.