For the first time in its history, Cyprus is applying to join the UN Human Rights Council from 2025 to 2027, it was announced on Tuesday.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office in Geneva. The Council is made up of 47 UN member states which are elected by the UN General Assembly for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis.
According to a statement from the foreign ministry on Tuesday, the announcement was made by Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides during his address at the 46th Session of the Council in Geneva.
Christodoulides said protection of human rights had always been a foreign policy priority for Cyprus. In this context, he stressed the commitment of Cyprus to work with all other UN member states for the protection and promotion of human rights. Cyprus became a member state of the UN a month after independence in 1960.
The minister said Cyprus, “being a firm believer in the value of multilateralism and international cooperation”, would have a substantial contribution to make as a member of the Council.
“Cyprus is committed to working through a specific plan in this direction,” he said, speaking of a wide range of areas including gender equality, the fight against trafficking in human beings, the rights of children and youth, the protection of cultural rights and the impact of climate change on human rights.
“We are bound by a collective duty to respond to the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Call to Action for Human Rights’. It is now more imperative than ever to promote and protect the indivisibility and universality of human rights and deliver on the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals,” Christodoulides said in his speech.
Cyprus expects to submit its ‘voluntary national review’ on its progress in the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030 plan ahead of a high-level July forum, the minister said.