For presentation at United Nations Headquarters, New York, Nov. 8, 2012

Executive Summary

This report evaluates the countries that have submitted candidacies for the Nov. 12, 2012 election of 18 new members to the UN Human Rights Council. To evaluate qualifications we applied the membership criteria established by UNGA Resolution 60/251, in particular by examining (a) each candidate’s record of domestic human rights protection; and (b) its UN voting record. The report finds as follows:

Not Qualified
Seven candidates have poor records and are not qualified:
Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, UAE, Venezuela

Questionable
Two candidates have problematic records and thus questionable candidacies:
Kenya, Sierra Leone

Qualified
Only 11 out of 20 candidate countries are qualified to be Council members:
Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Montenegro, South Korea, Sweden, United States

The absence of competition this year in four out of the five regional slates is scandalous, undermining the very premise and rationale for holding elections. Nevertheless, this report reminds UN member states that they have the right to refrain from voting for countries deemed Not Qualified, 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, and instead free up the process for qualified alternatives to come forward. We note several alternative candidacies for the relevant regional groups, who have better human rights and U.N. voting records:

Qualified Alternative Candidates
Africa: Cape Verde, Ghana, Namibia and Zambia
Asia: Mongolia and East Timor
Latin America: Panama and Paraguay

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