Eritrea is pleased and highly honored to be elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). The HRC is the UN’s inter-governmental body that deliberates on issues pertaining to the development, promotion, protection, and fulfillment of international human rights law, norms, and standards. Eritrea received 160 votes from a total of 193 and its three-year term on the Geneva-based HRC will begin on 01 January 2019. Eritrea extends its deep gratitude and appreciation to the Member States of the UN for their invaluable support of the country’s candidacy.
Eritrea is a country that emerged out of a long, difficult struggle for human rights. It achieved formal independence in 1993, after a 30- year war for independence. Non-discrimination, equality, inclusion, peace, justice, freedom, and ensuring respect for human rights and human dignity are key values underpinning Eritrean society. Eritrea remains vigilant and steadfast in its efforts to implement all civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights for all Eritreans. It aspires to become a developed nation where the potential of its entire people, including women, children, and the vulnerable, is realized with strong national unity and cohesion, sustained economic growth, and social justice.
Eritrea is strongly committed to consolidating the rights of citizen, and it has made significant strides in improving educational and health services, agricultural productivity, reducing poverty, and developing infrastructure. Eritrea is also making important contributions to regional peace, stability, and security in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. Like all Member States, Eritrea faces human rights challenges, and it recognizes the work ahead towards better and higher human rights standards. Eritrea firmly believes in constructive engagement and it concurs with the wider view of the UN membership that human rights objectives are best promoted in all countries through engagement, underpinned by cooperation and mutual respect.
Eritrea is party to key international and regional human rights treaties, including some of their optional protocols. In addition, it is party to several international legal instruments dealing with international humanitarian law and labor.
The Government of Eritrea undertakes continuous efforts to harmonize existing legislation with the international human rights instruments that it is a party to, as well as with other human rights concepts that have attained the status of customary international law. Moreover, the Government is making the necessary preparations to accede to the remaining core international human rights treaties.
As a state party to key international and regional human rights treaties, Eritrea has submitted periodic reports to the different treaty bodies, and it has also submitted regular responses to communications emanating from the ILO. Eritrea’s bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation are growing, and more states and organizations are closely engaging with Eritrea on concrete actions that embody the country’s cooperative approach to the consolidation of human rights and broader pressing regional issues of peace and development.
Like most UN Member States and almost all developing countries, Eritrea opposes double-standards as well as counterproductive selective, politically-motivated, country-specific approaches. Instead, Eritrea strongly believes that the promotion and protection of human rights should be based on impartiality, genuine dialogue, constructive engagement, and close cooperation in order to strengthen the capacity of States to comply with their human rights obligations.
Eritrea is proud to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council and it does not take the responsibility lightly. It will strive to ensure an efficient and proactive Council, and it is fully committed to supporting the valuable work of the Council in the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of human rights.