United Nations Security Council Election Voting Results

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As promised here are the results from today’s elections at the UN General Assembly to fill 5 non-permanent seats at the UN Security Council. The quota in all elections was 127 based on the fact that 182 members were present and voting.

African Group:

  • South Africa 182

Asian Group

  • India 187

Latin America

  • Columbia 186

Western Europe and Other States

Round 1 Result:

  • Germany 128
  • Portugal 122
  • Canada 114

Round 2 Result:

  • Portugal 113
  • Canada 78

Round 3 Result:

  • Portugal 150
  • Canada 32
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Universal Periodic Review – UN Human Rights Council

Via UN News Centre.

Under General Assembly Resolution 60/251 (Which also established the Human Rights Counicl), the General Assembly mandated the Council to

undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfillment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States; the review shall be a cooperative mechanism, based on an interactive dialogue, with the full involvement of the country concerned and with consideration given to its capacity-building needs; such a mechanism shall complement and not duplicate the work of treaty bodies.

This Universal Periodic Review got underway yesterday in Geneva with Bahrain and Ecuador. The other states in this 1st Session Review are

* Tunisia
* Morocco
* Indonesia
* Finland
* United Kingdom
* India
* Brazil
* Philippines
* Algeria
* Poland
* Netherlands
* South Africa
* Czech Republic
* Argentina

These will all be examined during the First Session which lasts till the 18th of April.

The Second Session will consider

1. Gabon
2. Ghana
3. Peru
4. Guatemala
5. Benin
6. Republic of Korea
7. Switzerland
8. Pakistan
9. Zambia
10. Japan
11. Ukraine
12. Sri Lanka
13. France
14. Tonga
15. Romania
16. Mali

This session will take place between 5-16 May.

The third and Final Session this year will see the following states examined,

1. Botswana
2. Bahamas
3. Burundi
4. Luxembourg
5. Barbados
6. Montenegro
7. United Arab Emirates
8. Israel
9. Liechtenstein
10. Serbia
11. Turkmenistan
12. Burkina Faso
13. Cape verde
14. Colombia
15. Uzbekistan
16. Tuvalu

That session will take place between the 1-12 December.

What do these reviews entail?

The reviews entail each country giving its own information, limited to a 20 page report, but also shadow reports can be submitted by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), limited to 10 pages. NGOs, NHRIs (National Human Rights Institution’s), Human rights defenders, Academic institutions and Research institutes, Regional organizations, as well as civil society representatives may also submit observations as stakedholders but there submissions summarized by the OHCHR in a 10 page report.

Example: Bahrain

Bahrain’s Report(PDF) contains information on reforms it pledged to make on election to the Human Rights Council. It details constitutional protections, legal protections, treaties signed and/or ratified, as well as the State’s view of whats happening on the ground. State’s may also give additional Documentation, Bahrain has taken the opportunity and submitted 6. They havent been translated from Arabic so I cant read them.

The OHCHR Report (PDF) is a summary of the Treaties signed and ratified by Bahrain. It gives a summary of the views of the bodies set up by the treaties on work done and any issues.

12 stakeholders (PDF) made submissions to the OHCHR giving there view on whats happening on the ground.

Hopefully these UPR’s will make a difference around the world and put more pressure on states to respect Human Rights and their treaty obligations.

Ireland will be reviewed in 2011 in the 12th (and last) Session of the UPR.


Sources:
UN human rights body begins first-ever examination of all countries’ recordsUN News Centre
Universal Periodic ReviewOHCHR
General Assembly Resolution 60/251 (PDF) – UN
Universal Periodic Review: BahrainOHCHR
Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review Calender (PDF)OHCHR

UN ASSEMBLY TAKES STEPS TOWARDS NEW TREATY REGULATING GLOBAL CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRADE

The United Nations General Assembly today adopted a resolution effectively kicking off a diplomatic process aimed at promulgating a new international treaty on the global trade in conventional arms – a move immediately hailed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan – as it acted on a series of resolutions adopted at the recommendation of its Disarmament and International Security (First) Committee.

“The Secretary-General welcomes today’s adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution launching a process that could lead to a treaty regulating international trade in conventional weapons,” his spokesman said in a <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=2346">statement released in New York.

“While there are still many steps to be taken to forge a consensus to this end, the resolution represents the first formal step towards developing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons,” the spokesman said, pointing out that “unregulated trade in these weapons currently contributes to conflict, crime and terrorism, and undermines international efforts for peace and development.”

The resolution, “Towards an arms trade treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms,” was adopted by a recorded vote, with the United States alone in opposing the text which was supported by 153 countries. An additional two dozen countries abstained.

Under its terms, the Secretary-General was requested to seek the views of Member States “on the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms” and to report on this at its next session.

He was also asked to establish a group of governmental experts to start examining in 2008 the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for such a treaty. This will be considered by the Assembly’s sixty-third session, which opens in September 2008.

The resolution was one of 52 submitted by the First Committee to the Assembly for action today. The Committee’s measures are traditionally among the most contentious submitted each year, and 2006 was no exception, with dozens of votes expected to be cast before day’s end on texts covering such subjects as the prevention of an arms race in outer space, multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones.