Member States Vote to Reinstate Libya as Member of UN Human Rights Council

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–18 November 2011.  United Nations Member States voted overwhelmingly today to readmit Libya as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, eight months after the North African country was suspended for its then government’s violent repression of a popular protest movement.

In a ballot in the General Assembly this morning, 123 countries voted in favour of the restoration of Libyan membership to the Council, four countries voted against, and six States abstained.

The resolution adopted in the Assembly welcomed the recent commitments made by Libya to promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law and to cooperate with relevant international human rights mechanisms.

  The 47 members of the Council, which was set up in 2006 and is based in Geneva, are divided according to a geographical formula. Libya had been elected last year, with its term scheduled to end in 2013.

But on 1 March Libya’s membership was suspended after the regime of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi began its deadly crackdown against protests that were part of the wider Arab Spring that has engulfed North Africa and the Middle East this year.

Colonel Qadhafi’s regime was eventually toppled after months of fighting between pro- and anti-government forces and the former leader was killed last month.

The UN has established a support mission (UNSMIL) to help the country’s new authorities restore public security, plan for elections and ensure transitional justice.