Armenia elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council

14 new members were elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, following a secret ballot held in the General Assembly Hall in New York.

Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine were elected as members of Eastern Europe region.  Armenia was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) with 144 supporting votes.

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.

The newly elected countries will serve for three years and take up their seats after 31 December. 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.

Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on the occasion of Armenia’s election as a Member of the UN Human Rights Council

At today’s elections held in New York, Armenia has been elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2020-2022, with the overwhelming majority of votes. This remarkable achievement is the best demonstration of the acknowledgement by the international community of the significant progress in democratic transformation and protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms following the non-violent, Velvet Revolution in the Republic of Armenia.

This success also reflects the high confidence of the international community towards Armenia as a reliable partner, who is at the forefront of protection of human rights, and the prevention of massive violations of human rights and atrocities.

As a responsible member of the international community and a supporter of effective multilateralism, Armenia has acceded to all major human rights instruments. Today we can proudly state that these human rights commitments are not merely enshrined in our legal system, but are also part of our national values ​​and identity. We are ready to share experience, listen to and learn from our partners, and are committed to advance international collaboration aimed at strengthening the UN human rights system, promoting effective intergovernmental cooperation and civil society engagement.

The promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, consolidation of democratic values will be an important priority of Armenia’s membership in the Human Rights Council. Human rights are universal for all peoples and individuals in all parts of the world.

Armenia is determined to contribute to the strengthening of international cooperation and dialogue at the Human Rights Council, and to this end we have already expressed our clear pledges and commitments that we plan to implement over the coming years. We will continue to fight against identity-based violations of human rights, including discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance and hate speech because Armenia and the Armenian people are well aware of the consequences emanating from massive violations of human rights committed on such grounds.

Armenia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council is complemented by the chairmanship our country currently holds in another important UN body – the UN Commission on the Status of Women. It is even more symbolic in light of the significant increase of women’s political presence and engagement in Armenia’s public life today, which demonstrates the effectiveness of consistent steps by the Government of Armenia towards ensuring equal rights and opportunities for men and women in our country.

Armenia stands ready to contribute to the strengthening of international cooperation in the protection of women’s rights, and we intend to spare no effort to drive this agenda forward.

I would like to express my gratitude to our international partners for the demonstrated trust for Armenia’s candidacy. I am also grateful for the consistent and coordinated work carried out by our Government, Ministries and Agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomatic representations abroad. This success belongs to all of us and defines the great responsibility we are assuming before the international community.

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