Senegal elected president of UNHRC

Senegal’s representative on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, UN HRC, has been elected president of the body for the year 2019.

Background

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The 38th session of the UNHRC began on June 18, 2018. It ended on July 7, 2018. The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Senegal is a country in West Africa. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 15 million. Senegal was first elected to the now-defunct UN Commission on Human Rights in 1997. The UNCHR was replaced by the UN Human Rights Council in 2006.

Analysis

The UN Human Rights Council Secretariat announced that Coly Seck had been elected as the President of the council. He will be assisted by two vice-presidents – Ms Vesna Batistić Kos of Croatia and Mr Harald Aspelund of Iceland.

The election was conducted during an organizational session to elect its leadership and to discuss its programme of work for next year. It also considered a draft statement on ways to enhance the efficiency of the Council.

The body recently elected a new set of representatives to serve three-year terms. In all, 18 countries were elected across the world.

The African representatives who made it was from three regional blocs – West, Central and East Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia and Togo.

Assessment

Our assessment is that Senegal’s Presidentship of the UNHRC will be greatly beneficial for the promotion of basic human rights conflict-stricken African countries. We believe that as the President of the UNHRC, Senegal will be able to re-direct efforts to more productive avenues for the promotion of human rights in Africa.