Published: 18 November 2019 Authors: Stefan Talmon and Emmanuel Amissah-Eshun
The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006. Members are elected directly and individually by the majority of the members of the General Assembly, through a secret ballot. Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats are distributed among the five regional groups within the United Nations system. Germany is part of the so-called “Western European and other States” group (WEOG), which holds seven seats on the Council. Members of the Council serve for a period of three years, and after two consecutive terms are not eligible for immediate re-election. Germany served on the HRC as one of its founding members from 2006 to 2009, and again for the 2013-2015 and 2016-2018 terms. After the withdrawal of the United States from the HRC, Germany had announced in February 2019 that it would run again for the Council – a year earlier than originally planned.