Election of Nigeria and Other Rights Abusers to UN Security Council is Alarming
October 18, 2013
Freedom House is concerned by United Nations General Assembly electing Saudi Arabia, Chad, and Nigeria as members of the United Nations Security Council. Saudi Arabia and Chad are rated Not Free in Freedom in the World due to widespread human rights abuses. Nigeria is rated Partly Free. The General Assembly on October 17 also elected Chile and Lithuania to the Council. Saudia Arabia, despite having sought the seat, announced October 18 it would decline the position, citing the Council’s “double standards,” an apparent reference to its lack of action on Syria. The other new Council members will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan, and Togo on January 1, 2014. Each year the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term.
Despite their own records, the election of Chad and Nigeria to the Security Council will allow these countries to have influence over human rights issues that come before the Council. Freedom House calls on UN member states to take into consideration a country’s domestic human rights situation when voting on Security Council membership.