Header image for news printout

Human Rights Council elects new President and Vice-Presidents for 2015

Joachim Ruecker of Germany Appointed as President-elect

Geneva, 8 December 2014 -- The Human Rights Council this morning elected its new bureau for 2015 at an organizational meeting appointing Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to serve as its President for a term beginning on 1 January 2015. 

The Council also appointed Filloreta Kodra of Albania, Juan Esteban Aguirre Martinez of Paraguay, Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan and Mothusi Bruce Rabasha Palai of Botswana to the positions of Vice Presidents to the United Nations’ leading human rights body.  Ambassador Rabasha Palai was also elected to fill the post of Rapporteur.  All five candidates will serve as members of the Human Rights Council Bureau from 1 January to 31 December 2015 – the Council’s ninth cycle.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon, who has been serving as Human Rights Council President throughout 2014, while noting that the Council had adopted 114 texts during his tenure, 65 per cent by consensus, on a wide range of issues, called on the international community to bolster its funding to human rights programmes in order for the Organization to meet its many related demands effectively. 

Ambassador Ndong Ella stated that human rights body had over the years “gained importance, reputation and credibility by its ability to respond to emergency situations and chronic issues related to human rights around the world especially through its special procedures mechanisms, the Universal Periodic Review, a its new working methods.”  The Council President also stressed the need to enhance the participation of civil society in the Council so as to “preserve the credibility and reputation of the Council of Human Rights in the UN system.”

Similarly, the Council President-elect, Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, stressed the importance of advancing human rights globally so as to ensure “a more peaceful and prosperous world” and to continue working in close cooperation with civil society. “Civil Society is at the core of human rights, at the core of our work.”  He added:  “I am firmly convinced that it was, is and will continue to be in our common interest to promote a culture of non-reprisals, free from fear of intimidation, when it comes to civil society, human rights defenders and individuals who seek to cooperate and work with the Council, its mechanisms and procedures.”

On 21 October, the General Assembly elected 15 members of the Human Rights Council to serve as members of the Human Rights Council filling the vacancies to be left at the end of this year. 

At this morning’s meeting, the 47 members of the Human Rights Council also decided that the theme for the 2015 high-level panel on human rights mainstreaming, to be held during the upcoming 28th regular session of the Council on 3 March 2015, will be "strengthening of international cooperation in the field of human rights".

Also speaking at this morning's meeting were representatives of Paraguay, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the European Union, Ethiopia (on behalf of the African Group), Côte d’Ivoire and the International Service for Human Rights.

The Council will hold its next organizational meeting on 13 January 2015 at which time it is expected to adopt its programme of work for the year. 

For more information about the Human Rights Council, please visit the HRC website - http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCIndex.aspx

Media contact: Rolando Gomez, rgomez@ohchr.org, +41.22.917.9711, +41.79.477.4411

For use of the information media; not an official record