In the News
7 November 2014
The elections to appoint five new judges of the International Court of Justice began yesterday morning and continued throughout the course of two days. The elections were held to fill the seats of judges Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor (from Mexico); Kenneth Keith (New Zealand); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco); Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation); and Joan E. Donoghue (United States) whose terms will end on the 5th of February, 2015.
Although retiring judges are eligible for re-election, only Donoghue and Bennouna were included among the nine candidates approved by the national groups of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The list of approved candidates, as well as their curricula vitae, was circulated by the Secretary-General in early August.
29 October 2014
This morning, the General Assembly met in plenary to elect 18 members of the Economic and Social Council. Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, India, Japan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and Zimbabwe were elected for a three year term, which will begin on the 1st of January 2015.
As anticipated, longstanding ECOSOC members France, Germany, and Japan retained their seats for another term. Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Greece, India, and Portugal were also re-elected members.
21 October 2014
This morning, the General Assembly held elections to fill fifteen seats on the Human Rights Council for a three year term. Beginning on the first of January, Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal, and Qatar will assume their roles as members of the Council.
Seats in the Council are allotted by regional group, so that the candidates with the greatest number of votes in each group will become members. In order to be elected, candidates for the Council must receive at least 97 votes—a simple majority of the membership of the General Assembly. In the event of a tie, the Assembly will hold additional rounds of voting, with balloting restricted to the tied candidates.
20 October 2014
The Economic and Social Council elections for the 2015-2017 term are scheduled to take place on the 29th of October, 2014. The General Assembly will elect 18 new members of the Economic and Social Council, filling the seats previously occupied by Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lesotho, Libya, Nigeria, and Portugal. The newly elected states will begin their terms on the 1st of January, 2015.
16 October 2014
At 10:00 am this morning, the General Assembly began its elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Council. After three rounds of voting, Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, and Spain were elected to serve two-year terms.
As expected, Angola, Malaysia, and Venezuela were elected easily after the first round of voting. The three members ran on “clean slates,” with no real challenge from other states in their respective regions.
9 October 2014
On October 21, the General Assembly will elect 15 members of the Human Rights Council. The newly elected members will serve on the Council for the 2015-2017 term, replacing Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Peru, the Philippines, and Romania.
Several member states have announced their interest in a seat on the Human Rights Council. Ghana, Congo, Portugal, Netherlands, Albania, Latvia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Bolivia, Indonesia, Qatar, and Bangladesh have submitted voluntary pledges to the President of the General Assembly, which describe their records on human rights issues and propose ways in which they aim to improve their performance. GA resolution 60/251 , the founding resolution of the HRC, encourages member states to take these pledges into consideration when casting their votes.
30 September 2014
On the 16th of October 2014 the General Assembly will elect five nonpermanent members to the Security Council for the 2015-2017 term. The newly elected members will replace Argentina, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Luxembourg, whose terms will end this year.
The known candidates from each region are listed below:
- Angola (African Group)
- Malaysia (Asia-Pacific Group)
- New Zealand (WEOG)
- Spain (WEOG)
- Turkey (WEOG)
- Venezuela (GRULAC)
With only one known candidate each from the Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific groups, it is anticipated that Angola, Venezuela, and Malaysia will be elected to the Security Council without contest. However, three states from the Western European group (New Zealand, Spain, and Turkey) have announced their interest in Western Europe’s two available seats.
NEW YORK: 30 September 2014
With the start of the 69th General Assembly this month, Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa began his term as President of the General Assembly. Mr. Kutesa, the Foreign Minister of Uganda, was selected by the African Union. The General Assembly approved his appointment on the 11th of June.
Mr. Kutesa assumed the presidency despite some controversy over a February Ugandan law, which legislates prison sentences for homosexual activity. Opponents argued that as a leading minister in a government which criminalizes homosexuality, Kutesa's appointment would contradict the principles of the United Nations.
NEW YORK: 8 September 2014
On the 1st of September, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein assumed his duties as the seventh United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The General Assembly approved his appointment on the 16th of June.
A Jordanian citizen, Mr. Al-Hussein is the first Asian, Arab, or Muslim to be selected for the position. Mr. Al-Hussein served as Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations from 2000 to 2007, and again from 2010 until 2014. From 2007 to 2010, he represented Jordan as Permanent Representative to the United States.
In a vacancy announcement posted to the Secretary-General’s website this week, it was announced that the Secretary-General is seeking applicants to fill the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation for a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.