The General Assembly today elected 18 States to the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for promoting and protecting all human rights around the globe.

By secret ballot, the Assembly elected Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czechia, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Philippines, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay.  All 18 members will serve three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2019.

The 18 outgoing members are Belgium, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Togo, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.  In accordance with Assembly resolution 60/251, those Member States were eligible for immediate re-election except delegations which had already served two consecutive terms – Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

The 18 new members were elected according to the following pattern:  5 seats for African States; 5 seats for Asia-Pacific States; 2 seats for Eastern European States; 3 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States; and 3 seats for Western European and other States.

Newly elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council were Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czechia, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Somalia and Uruguay.  The Philippines and Togo were re-elected for an additional term.

Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (Ecuador) announced that the following States will also continue as members of the Council:  Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Created by the General Assembly in March 2006 as the principal United Nations entity dealing with human rights, the Human Rights Council comprises 47 elected Member States.  On the basis of equitable geographical distribution, Council seats are allocated to the five regional groups as follows:  African States, 13 seats; Asia-Pacific States, 13 seats; Eastern European States, 6 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States, 8 seats; and Western European and other States, 7 seats.

In other business, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution titled “Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations”, contained in a report (document A/73/421) of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  By that text, the Assembly agreed that the failure of three Member States — Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia — to pay the full minimum amount of their financial contributions to the Organization is due to “conditions out of their control”.  It therefore decided to permit those Member States to cast their votes in the Assembly until the end of the seventy‑third session, through an exemption set out in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.

Also today, the President informed Member States that on 4 October, Dee‑Maxwell Saah Kemayah (Liberia) was elected Chair of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) at its seventy-third session, and accordingly is a member of the General Committee for the session.