Nordic nations bid for UN Human Rights position

Four Nordic countries are aiming for a joint seat on the new United Nations Human Rights Council, their governments said on Tuesday.

Norway, Sweden and Denmark will back Finland’s bid for one of the seven council seats for which western European countries, the US, Australia and New Zealand among others are eligible, Satu Suikkari, an official in the Finnish foreign ministry’s human rights department, told AFP.

If Finland wins the seat, it will then rotate the mandate with the other three countries, who have pledged mutual support in human rights policies in a number of international bodies.

“The Nordic countries have been, and are, acting internationally, taking many initiatives for the defense and development of human rights,” Suikkari said.

The Human Rights Council in June takes over from the 60-year-old UN Human Rights Commission.

Key changes for the Council include the election of its members by a majority of all 191 states in the United Nations.