Joint report by UN Watch, Human Rights Foundation and the Lantos Foundation
Presented at United Nations Headquarters, New York, October 28, 2015
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Executive Summary
This report evaluates the country candidates for the October 28, 2015 election of 18 new members to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Our evaluations applied the membership criteria established by UNGA Resolution 60/251, which requires members to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” and to “fully cooperate with the Council. In particular, we examined (a) each candidate’s record of domestic human rights protection; and (b) its U.N. voting record. The report finds as follows:
UNQUALIFIED  9 candidates have poor records and fail to qualify: Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Pakistan, Togo, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
QUESTIONABLE  3 candidates have problematic human rights and/or U.N. voting records: Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Philippines.
QUALIFIED  Only 9 out of the 21 candidate countries are qualified to be council members: Bahamas, Belgium, Georgia, Germany, Mongolia, Panama, Slovenia, South Korea, and Switzerland.
The absence of competition this year in three out of the five regional slates is unfortunate, undermining the very premise and rationale for holding elections. Nevertheless, this report reminds U.N. member states that they have the right to refrain from voting for an Unqualified candidate, even if those happen to be running on closed slates. Instead, as detailed in the report, during the ballot they can actually defeat such candidacies, thereby freeing up the process for qualified alternatives to come forward. In regard to candidate countries deemed Questionable, they should, at a minimum, be asked to commit to redress the shortcomings identified in this report.

UN Watch