On 13 May 2010, the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York elected Switzerland to the Human Rights Council by 175 votes. Switzerland was elected together with 13 other States and will be one of the 47 member States on the Council. Its mandate will be for a period of three years starting from 19 June 2010.
Switzerland is pleased by its election to the Council. It regards this election as recognition of its activities on behalf of human rights in general and of its active role as a member of the Council during the period 2006-2009.
During its first mandate from 2006 to 2009, Switzerland, together with the other members, observers and NGOs, worked to ensure that the Human Rights Council should become a solid and effective institution. Either alone or in collaboration with partners from other regional groups, it successfully launched initiatives in the field of human rights education and transitional justice. It advocated that the Council should be able to deal appropriately with human rights situations in all countries. It also volunteered to be one of the first countries to be examined in the framework of the universal periodic review. Since this review, it has been keen to implement the recommendations made to it in partnership with civil society.
In accordance with resolution 60/25 of the General Assembly establishing the Human Rights Council, the workings and activities of this body will be examined in 2011. As host state of the Council and as a state that participated fully in its creation and in its institutional consolidation, Switzerland wishes to contribute actively to this review process. It will do everything in its power to ensure that the Council can realise its full potential as the main human rights body of the United Nations. It will act to ensure that the Council can react rapidly and effectively to human rights violations wherever they occur and that particular attention be paid to victims and to vulnerable groups. Switzerland will advocate the independence and the solidity of the system of special procedures (as for example of the Special Rapporteurs on specific issues or countries) and it will work to ensure the good functioning of the universal periodic review so that this can become an instrument that contributes to the promotion and the protection of human rights. Finally, it will continue to collaborate with civil society, which is an indispensable partner of the Human Rights Council.
Address for enquiries:
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