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Czech Ambassador Bálek elected president of the UN Human Rights Council


Permanent representative for the Czech Republic to the UN in Geneva, Václav Bálek, was elected President of the UN Human Rights Council. He will assume the prestigious position on January 1, 2023. It is the first time ever that a Czech representative will chair the main intergovernmental UN body for human rights.

“It’s another success for Czech diplomacy and affirms our good name in the area of support and protection for human rights globally. The election of Ambassador Bálek is the long-time outcome of Czechia’s interest for human rights, our active engagement in the Human Rights Council, and the emphasis on human rights protection and support from the current government,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský.

It is one of the most prestigious and visible roles for member states in the UN. The mission of the Human Rights Council is to strengthen and support human rights and fundamental freedoms around the entire world. It is composed of 47 members that are UN member states and elected for 3-year terms.

“From the position of President, I will try to ensure the Council fulfills its role to prevent human rights violations through dialogue and cooperation. We will put emphasis on the Council to function effectively and to enable participation of all relevant actors, including the representatives of small countries and civil society,” said Václav Bálek after the election.

The Council member states elect the president for a one-year term; Václav Bálek is replacing Argentina's Federico Villegas in this position. The main roles of the President are to organize and chair the Council meetings, propose the appointment of special rapporteurs, members to investigative commissions, and other owners of mandates on human rights issues created by the Council. An integral part of his work is also the representation of the Council in the UN system, including towards the Secretary General, media, and public.