Finland seeks membership of UN Human Rights Council 

Finland Human Rights Council
Photo: Joakim Jonkasalo/Unsplash

Finland is seeking membership of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2022–2024. The campaign slogan is ”A Diverse World, Universal Human Rights”. The election will take place at the UN General Assembly in October 2021. 

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.

According to the Foreign Ministry, as a member of the Human Rights Council, Finland wants to stand in a common front with countries defending human rights and aiming to find sustainable solutions for global challenges.

Climate change, pandemics

” 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 (source: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland)

Seeking a seat on the council is one of the key foreign policy objectives of the programme of the government headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP).

“As we look forward to brighter times, we must work towards a world where human rights are a reality for all and no one is left behind,” Marin said in a campaign video.

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. At its inception, Finland served for a limited term on the HRC in 2006–2007. At present, Finland has an observer status in the HRC.