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Costa Rica ‘confident and committed’ as UN Human Rights Council decision nears

October 16, 2019

The United Nations will vote on Thursday to determine if Costa Rica will serve on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Costa Rica is “confident and committed,” according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, despite announcing its candidacy just weeks ago. The Central American nation is running in an attempt to block Venezuela from assuming a position on the 47-member council.

“Due to the serious violations against human rights that the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Michelle Bachelet) evidenced, the Venezuelan regime is not a suitable candidate for the UN Human Rights Council,” President Alvarado tweeted when Costa Rica announced its candidacy on Oct. 3. “Costa Rica is proposed as an alternative.”

Brazil, Venezuela and now Costa Rica are vying for the region’s two open council seats. Venezuela had been virtually guaranteed a berth until Costa Rica intervened.

“When governments convene at the United Nations to condemn the human rights abuses of their peers, it stings,” Foreign Policy’s Kenneth Roth explains. “The power of that opprobrium can be seen in the number of highly abusive governments that clamor to join U.N. human rights bodies in an effort to avoid being targeted.”

The UN Human Rights Council created this month a group of experts to investigate atrocities committed in Venezuela since 2014. The South American government has called the initiative “hostile.”

The Foreign Ministry says its campaign has drawn attention to “the merits and reputation of the country as a nation respectful of human rights and that, without a doubt, has exalted the prestige and name of Costa Rica.”

The 193 members of the UN General Assembly will place their votes on Thursday morning.

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