Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) as the Nordic representative in the Group of Western European and other States in 2022–2024. The membership campaign slogan: ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”, underscores the universal nature of human rights. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021.
Finland has been dedicated to promoting human rights for decades. By standing for candidacy in the HRC, Finland is demonstrating its continuing commitment to human rights-based foreign and security policy. The candidacy for membership of the HRC is mentioned in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Marin’s Government, too.
The themes of the Finnish campaign are the rights of women and girls, new technologies and the digital transformation, climate change, and education as a human right. In its campaign, Finland also emphasises efforts to defend multilateralism from increasing attempts to undermine it and the need to promote civil societies’ engagement and participation in the UN’s activities.
”As a member of the Human Rights Council, Finland wants to stand in a common front with countries defending human rights, aiming to find sustainable solutions for global challenges. Climate change and pandemics are further increasing inequality and global interdependency. The importance of defending human rights will grow in global contexts,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
The HRC, established in 2006, is the most central UN body that promotes human rights. The Council is made up of 47 Member States elected for three years at a time, based on an equitable geographical distribution of seats. Finland served as a member of the HRC in 2006–2007. At present, Finland has an observer status in the HRC.