By Patrick Goodenough | October 16, 2019
As the U.N. General Assembly prepares to fill 14 seats on the 47-member Human Rights Council on Thursday, human rights activists are hopeful that Venezuela’s Maduro regime will fail to secure one, thanks to an eleventh-hour candidacy by Costa Rica.
The small Central American democracy’s late entry injects competition into what would otherwise have been a farcical – but now routine – situation in a HRC “election,” with the same number of candidates running as there are seats available.
Two of the 14 seats up for grabs on Thursday are earmarked for Latin America and the Caribbean, and before Costa Rica’s entry there were just two candidates running for them – Brazil and Venezuela’s Maduro regime.
Such “closed slates” have become more common than not in HRC elections, and as a result the U.N.’s top human rights body each year has among its members regimes widely criticized for human rights abuses.
(For example, current members include China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom have served multiple three-year terms on the council, which was established in 2006. Saudi Arabia was elected in 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2017; Cuba was elected in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2017; China was elected in 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2017.)...........To Read More.....