Puente Democrático
 
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Call for application of transparency and democratic principles in the elections of the member states of the UN Human Rights Council
March 26, 2014
In the presentation CADAL reminded the Secretary General that on last November 12, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) elected in a secret ballot fourteen member states to its Human Rights Council for the next three years, including the states whose governments represent the attitude of denying for years, through the use of repression against its own and foreign citizens, basic democratic freedoms and human rights.
 

The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) addressed Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations with the “Call for application of transparency and democratic principles in the elections of the member states of the UN Human Rights Council” with the following requests:

1. We request to make public the votes to candidates in the last election to the UN Human Rights Council, held last November 12, 2013 and from now on, to continue in doing so in the future elections to the UN Human Rights Council.

2. Henceforth, we propose to organize an open debate regarding the candidates for the UN Human Rights Council, at least two months prior to the elections to determine the competence of Member States which wish to be included in the body and learn about the arguments that will lead to vote for the respective candidates.

In the presentation CADAL reminded the Secretary General that on last November 12, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) elected in a secret ballot fourteen member states to its Human Rights Council for the next three years, including the states whose governments represent the attitude of denying for years, through the use of repression against its own and foreign citizens, basic democratic freedoms and human rights.

On that regard, CADAL emphasized that allowing into the Human Rights Council states whose governments repress civil liberties, undermines the objective of this organization created in 2006 and at the same time represents an international affront to their victims.

Consequently, given that this entity is responsible for the international promotion and protection of human rights and that for the election of its members, the candidates’ contribution in the field should be taken into account, CADAL presented the “Call for application of transparency and democratic principles in the elections of the member states of the UN Human Rights Council”.

However, CADAL admitted that the choice of the states that are not commonly perceived as human rights protection and implementation role models, may result in a shift in their governments policy and, thus, including such states into the UN Human Right Council may have positive dimension. Also CADAL reminded that the United Nations should primarily internationally promote ideals expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and for this it is fundamental to involve the countries that have proven record of applying democratic principles and the provisions of the Declaration in their policy.

The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), is a non-profit, non-partisan, private foundation established on February 26, 2003 with the mission of promoting democratic values;

observing the political, economic and institutional performance; and make public policy proposals that contribute to good government and people’s wellbeing.

Puente Democrático is a program of CADAL with the objective to globally promote the defense of civic and political freedoms. For such end, the Program Puente Democrático fulfills the following activities:

a) Advocates for the implementation of a foreign policy committed with human rights in democratic countries;

b) Monitors the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of those countries under dictatorships.

c) Gives international solidarity to support the efforts of political opening of democrats living in countries ruled by dictatorships;

d) Trains the youth in democratic values and the importance of international solidarity; CADAL is a member of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI), and is registered as a Civil Society Organization at the Organization of American States (OAS).