Membership of the Human Rights Council
The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States' contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
The Council's Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats
- Eastern European States: 6 seats
Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
With membership on the Council comes a responsibility to uphold high human rights standards. This is a criteria insisted on by States themselves when they adopted resolution 60/251 in March 2006 to create the Human Rights Council.
Human Rights Council membership around the world
By 31 December 2022, 123 UN member states will have served as Human Rights Council Members, reflecting the UN’s diversity and giving the Council legitimacy when speaking out on human rights violations in all countries:
- African states: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana,Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia.
- Asia-Pacific States: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.
- Latin America & Caribbean States: Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Reu, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
- Western European & others States: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
- Eastern European States: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.
Presidency and Bureau
The Bureau of the Council consists of five people - one President and four Vice-presidents - representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council's annual cycle.