• Germany edition
 
Germany gets on UN Human Rights Council
Photo: DPA

Germany gets on UN Human Rights Council

Published: 13 Nov 2012 08:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Nov 2012 08:28 GMT+01:00

Rights groups condemned the "pre-cooked" arrangements by most continental groups at the 193-member UN General Assembly which gave council seats to countries whose records have been widely questioned.

The United States, Germany and Ireland won the only open election among western nations.

All the other regional groups nominated "clean slate" groups of countries with no competitive voting.

Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya and Sierra Leone will join for Africa; Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, South Korea and United Arab Emirates for Asia; Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Estonia and Montenegro for Eastern Europe.

Venezuela got 154 votes, more than the United States, 131, or Germany, 127.

"To call the vote in the General Assembly an 'election' gives this process way too much credit," said Peggy Hicks, a Human Rights Watch specialist. "Until there is real competition for seats in the Human Rights Council, its membership standards will remain more rhetoric than reality."

Peter Wittig, Germany's UN ambassador, said the open competition by the western nations should be "an example for other regional groups."

Some observers had said the United States risked not getting a place as it had entered the contest so late.

"We thank the countries that voted for us in what was a highly competitive race among several qualified western candidates that are all strong champions of human rights," said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement.

"We pledge to continue to work closely with the international community to address urgent and serious human rights concerns worldwide and to strengthen the council," Clinton added.

"While much hard work remains to be done, especially ending the council's disproportionate and biased focus on Israel, we look forward to cooperating with other council members to continue to address human rights concerns and to ensure that the Council fully realizes its promise."

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:32 November 13, 2012 by StoutViking
That's a step-up!

...From Saudi Arabia.
16:10 November 13, 2012 by marimay
Really? Handicapped people aren't even allowed to use a public restroom in germany...
20:02 November 13, 2012 by raandy
There goes the neighbor hood.
23:41 November 13, 2012 by DOZ
What! No Canada. LOL
01:16 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Why is Westerwelle in the picuture? He and Human Rights are far removed. He would have us all working in 400 Euro jobs if he had his way. Westerwelle and Human rights are a contradiction in terms.
07:34 November 14, 2012 by olog-hai
This is no honor, but an admission of depravity. The so-called "Human Rights Council" is a travesty, full of tyrants and terrorists, which is why the USA originally rejected having anything to do with it. Anyone who does want anything to do with it has the same mindset of tyrants.
Today's headlines
Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds
Usula van der Leyen and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China orders German's execution for murders
A paramilitary guard stands inside Beijing's No.1 Detention Centre. Photo: DPA

China orders German's execution for murders

Update: A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

Saxony schools get top marks
Photo: DPA

Saxony schools get top marks

A country-wide analysis has shown that Saxony has the best schools and Berlin has a lot of homework to do. READ  

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored
Pot luck for the Offenburg hedgehog. Photo: DPA

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored

Officers patrolling in Baden-Württemberg were confronted by a self-imprisoned hedgehog. READ  

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch
Overdue, overgrown. BER site stands idle amid delays. Photo: DPA

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch

The delay-hobbled Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will already be overburdened when - or if - it opens in 2016 as passenger volume exceeds initial forecasts, it was reported on Tuesday. READ  

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare
A doctor at the Job Centre in Berlin. Photo:DPA

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare

Update: Around 600 people were held for several hours in emergency quarantine at a Berlin Job Centre on Tuesday after a West African woman collapsed with Ebola-like symptoms. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,315
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd