2006 News Story

Saudi Arabia Seeks U.N. Human Rights Council Seat

Saudi Arabia, in a letter addressed to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, has announced its candidacy to the U.N. Human Rights Council during the body’s first election in May.

“Saudi Arabia has a confirmed commitment to the defense, protection, and promotion of human rights,” the letter said. “Furthermore, Saudi Arabia pursues a policy of active cooperation with international organizations in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”  The kingdom, the letter states, “attaches great importance to the work of the Human Rights Council and intends to make every endeavor to contribute to its deliberations and activities for the protection and promotion of human rights.”

The newly-formed Human Rights Council replaces the Human Rights Committee.

The new 47-member council will elect members on May 9 based on regional quotas; Saudi Arabia is a member of the Asia group. There are 13 seats for Asia and 18 candidates, including Iran and Pakistan.