On Tuesday (October 13), Russia and China were selected to join the UN Human Rights Council. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not reveal how Estonia voted but implied countries which violate human rights did not receive the country's support.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Britta Tarvis told ERR: "In accordance with the diplomatic practice, we will not publish the voting behavior of the secret vote, but we can say that Estonia doesn't give its vote to countries whose treatment of human rights is largely and inherently violating international standards."
International human rights organizations invited democratic countries to not vote for countries that have no respect for human rights.
Every country must receive the support of 97 countries at the elections of the UN General Assembly, which means that democratic countries can block the election of such countries even if opposing candidates have not been nominated.
The term of office of the selected countries in the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday begins on January 1 and lasts for three years.
Estonia was a member of the Human Rights Council in 2013–15 and will run again for 2026–2028, Tarvis said.
The UN Human Rights Council is one of three UN member councils with limited membership, with 47 elected and rotating member states from all regional groups tasked with protecting and promoting human rights around the world.
The 193 countries of the UN General Assembly also elected Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Malawi, Cuba, Bolivia, Uzbekistan, France and the United Kingdom to the 47-member Council.
In addition, Senegal, Nepal, Pakistan, Ukraine and Mexico were selected to continue for a second three-year period.
The members of the Human Rights Council are elected by regional group, and this time the competition was limited to a group of Asian countries, with five countries running for four seats - Uzbekistan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright