Venezuela excluded from the UN Human Rights Council

NEW YORK (HPD) — Venezuela was excluded Tuesday from the UN’s top human rights body after a vote at the United Nations favored Costa Rica and Chile to fill two seats that the three countries were vying for.

Venezuela won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in 2019 and hoped to keep it after an election Tuesday of all 193 UN member states. Representing Latin America, however, there were only two vacant seats, which Costa Rica and Chile won on Tuesday.

The Chilean candidacy obtained 144 votes, the Costa Rican 134 and the Venezuelan 88 in the elections held in the UN General Assembly. In total, 14 new members were elected to the Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva and is made up of 47 nations.

Numerous human rights groups had called in the days leading up to the vote that Venezuela not be chosen due to what they see as a history of repression carried out by the government of Nicolás Maduro.

“The brutal attack against opponents in Venezuela means that the country does not have the credentials to belong to the highest UN rights body,” said Louis Charbonneau, UN director of Human Rights Watch, in a statement issued by the organization recently.

A total of 17 countries applied to fill the 14 places on the Council for the period 2023-2025.

The UN General Assembly urges states that vote to elect members to the Council to “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights.”

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