Press Release — HRF Deplores Election of Dictatorships to Top UN Human Rights Body


NEW YORK — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) deplores yesterday’s U.N. General Assembly vote electing the authoritarian regimes of Burundi, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Togo, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela as members of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a three-year term. The UNHRC is the highest U.N. body charged with protecting and promoting human rights on a global scale.

“It is an outrage that the U.N. entrusted the world’s human rights protection to some of the worst dictatorships and authoritarian regimes,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of HRF. “A mere nine years after its foundation, the council today shows the same symptoms of hypocrisy and double standards displayed by the discredited Human Rights Commission that preceded it. Ideally, the world’s democracies must use their U.N. seats responsibly and raise their voices against the authoritarian states who employ the council’s bully pulpits to silence their human rights victims and distract attention,” added Halvorssen.

On Tuesday, HRF, the Lantos Foundation, and UN Watch hosted a luncheon at the U.N. and published a legal report analyzing the bids placed by authoritarian states to sit on the council. The report assessed the suitability of each of the candidates according to a two-pronged analysis based on the selection criteria developed by the U.N. general assembly in 2006.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Contact: Noemi Gonzalo-Bilbao, (212) 246-8486,


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