28 October 2016 – The General Assembly elected, by secret ballot, 14 States to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. Newly elected to the Geneva-based body are Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Tunisia and United States. Re-elected for an additional term are China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. All would serve three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2017.
In the UN General Assembly, 144 member states voted for Hungary’s three-year membership, and the country got the position ahead of Croatia and Russia. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó hailed the decision as a “huge success”. The large number of votes for Hungary truly indicates that “despite the insults, attacks and false allegations published by the foreign media, the world believes that we have a place in the Human Rights Council,” he said.
The minister said that Hungary would play an active role in the human rights body during its term from 2017 to 2019. Hungary will take a stand for enforcing human rights and democracy all over the world and for the international community to get an authentic picture about all countries, he said. “We should not allow any forces in the East and the West to besmirch any country as they have tried to discredit us over the past few years. We will work for that in the Human Rights Council,” Szijjártó said. Hungary has been a member of the 47-strong body before, between 2009 and 2012.
photos: un.org; hirado.hu