Premier Li Keqiang speaks during the general debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept 21, 2016. Premier Li called for joint efforts to address sustainable development and global challenges.[Photo/Xinhua]
UNITED NATIONS — The UN General Assembly on Oct 28 elected China and other 13 countries to the UN Human Rights Council for a three-year term of office starting from Jan 1, 2017.
China, a current member of the council whose term ends at the end of 2016, was re-elected to the council by winning 180 votes for another three-year term.
The other elected members are Tunisia, South Africa, Rwanda, Japan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Croatia, Cuba, Brazil, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Human Rights Council is the main United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for promoting and protecting all human rights and fundamental freedom. It was established by the General Assembly in 2006 to replace the 60-year-old UN Commission on Human Rights.
The UN council addresses human rights violations and makes corresponding recommendations. It responds to human rights emergencies, works to prevent abuses.
The council’s 47 members are elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the 193 members of the General Assembly. They serve for a three-year renewable term and cannot seek immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.
Apart from the current term from 2014 to 2016, China also served as a council member from 2006 to 2012.
The council membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Thirteen seats each are devoted to the Group of African States and the Group of Asia-Pacific States, eight to the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, seven to the Group of Western European and other States and six to the Group of Eastern European States.