The International Campaign Against
Sudan’s Election to
the U.N. Human Rights Council
- Take Action: Sign the petition
- Take Action: Join the Facebook campaign
- Campaign supporters
- Legal Objections
- Statements Supporting Campaign to Defeat Sudan’s Bid
- Documentation of Human Rights Violations in Sudan
- Video Testimony by Sudanese Rights Activists
- About the elections for the Human RIghts Council (criteria, procedure)
Chair: Mia Farrow, Film Star and Human Rights Activist
- Hillel Neuer, United Nations Watch, Switzerland
- Irwin Cotler, Member of Canadian Parliament, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition.
- Adeeb Yousif, Darfur Reconciliation and Development Organization (DRDO), USA
- Bernard Schalscha, Collectif Urgence Darfour, France
- Thor Halvorssen, Human Rights Foundation, USA
- Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Genocide Watch, USA
- Enrique Sierra, Pax Christi International, Switzerland
- Robert R. LaGamma, Council for a Community of Democracies, USA
- Atamao T. Kane, Southpanafrican International (SPI), Norway
- Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS), India
- Dr Charles Mwape, Christian Coalition, Zambia
- Dr. Francois Ullmann, Ingenieurs du Monde, Switzerland
- Faisal Fulad, Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), Bahrain
- Theodor Rathgeber, Forum Human Rights, Germany
- Dr. Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident and former political prisoner, Founder and President of Initiatives for China
- Hu Ping, Chinese dissident, editor of Beijing Spring, former president of the Chinese Alliance for Democracy
- Zhang Xiaogang, Yibao
- Christina Fu, New Hope Foundation
- Michael Craig, China Rights Network
- Priscilla M Achakpa, Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria
- G. Jasper Cummeh III, Actions for Genuine Democratic Alternatives (AGENDA), Liberia
- Faisal Hassan, Gulf European Centre for Human Rights (GECHR)
- Maria Toledo, Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, Switzerland
- Dickson Ntwiga, Solidarity House International, Kenya
- Dr Dieudonné Zognong, Fondation Humanus, Cameroon
- John Suarez, Directorio Democrático Cubano, USA
- Michael Kau, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
- Guilhem Papelard, Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme, France
- Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Stop Child Executions, Canada
- Ali Egal, Fanole Human Rights & Development Organization (FAHRO) Somalia/Kenya
- Carlos E. Ponce S., Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy
- Jean Stoner, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, USA
- Lyda Verstegen, International Alliance of Women, President
“Sudan, a consistent human rights violator, does not meet the Council’s own standards for membership. […] It would be inappropriate for Sudan to have a seat on the Council while the Sudanese head of State is under International Criminal Court indictment for war crimes in Darfur and the government of Sudan continues to use violence to inflame tensions along its border with South Sudan.” — Kurtis A. Cooper, a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, August 28, 2012
“As Sudan appears poised to win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, the UN has hit a new low. Allowing this genocidal dictatorship, which has killed thousands of its citizens, to serve on such a body is beyond hypocrisy, it is callous, dangerous, and tragic.” — Statement by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, August 27, 2012
“We are obviously very much opposed […] and we urge members of the AU to do the right thing and stop an ICC-indicted war criminal from taking a seat on the Human Rights Council.” — Senior official with the U.S. mission to the UN, quoted by Fox News, July 13, 2012
The following testimonies by Sudanese human rights activists were delivered at sessions of the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy organized by UN Watch and 25 other NGOs.
Amer Adam Hesabu
On Nov. 12, 2012, the UN General Assembly will hold a vote to fill 18 of the 47 UN Human Rights Council seats, in the annual rotation of membership. Sudan has submitted its candidacy, and is running on an uncontested, “closed list” — one of five Asian Group candidates for the same amount of available seats.
According to UNGA Resolution 60/251, which established the UN Human Rights Council in 2006, General Assembly members are obliged to elect states to the Council by “tak[ing] into account the candidates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.” The resolution also provides that consideration ought to be given to whether the candidate can meet the obligations of Council membership, including the obligation “to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Sudan is one of the five countries in the African regional group that has put themselves forward as candidates for the five seats available. By submitting a “closed list” the African group is depriving the Member States of the UNGA of the opportunity to exercise the responsibilities described in the 2006 UNGA Resolution creating the Council and threatens to further weaken the Council, which still struggles to establish a reputation superior to its widely disparaged predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission.
The election of Sudan, however, is not a foregone conclusion. Ideally, Sudan should be pressured to withdraw its candidacy. Failing that, qualified African states should be encouraged to submit their candidacies in order to create a competitive election in which Sudan would be defeated.
It is vital for member states to know that even if Sudan remains a candidate, and if there is no competition, it still must receive the affirmative votes of 97 other countries (an absolute majority of the membership of the UNGA). In this scenario, UN Member States would be urged to avoid voting for Sudan in the secret ballot, thereby forcing other, better qualified candidates to come forward.
In order to successfully block Sudan, according to Rule 94 of the UNGA Rules of Procedure, a majority of states must vote against it on three successive ballots. As the Rule explains, “after the third inconclusive ballot, votes may be cast for any eligible person or Member” — which would open the process to other African states not already on the ballot. Moreover, the UNGA could make clear to hesitating governments in the African group that there is a realistic prospect of their election by casting write-in votes for the best-qualified alternatives eligible.