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SAHRC welcomes South Africa’s appointment to UNHRC

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

13 November 2013

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) welcomes the appointment of South Africa to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The United Nation’s General Assembly voted on Tuesday to elect 14 new members of the 47-seat council. South Africa was elected to a three-year term alongside Namibia, Algeria, Morocco, the Maldives, Britain, France, Vietnam, China, Cuba and Mexico among others.

The appointment of South Africa is significant as it comes in the same year when the SAHRC was appointed to head up the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC), the first time that Africa heads such office.

The appointment of South Africa to serve on the Human Rights Council, and the SAHRC to the ICC, marks a symbolic point in South Africa’s legacy of human rights, having transitioned from Apartheid to a peaceful democracy where human rights are constitutionally promoted and recognized.

It is however important to note that the position will attract international attention to South Africa. There will be increased attention given to the country’s human rights track record and its compliance with international human rights obligations.
This will, however, create opportunities for the country as a whole to showcase its human rights successes, and to share and seek solutions to current challenges.

The SAHRC looks forward to working with government and supporting its work to advance the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

Issued by the South Africa Human Rights Commission
Isaac Mangena
SA Human Rights Commission
071 884 8273

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