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Presidency of the Human Rights Council

On 9 December 2022, the UN Human Rights Council elected the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, Václav Bálek, as its President for 2023.This is the first time that the Council is presideded by a Czech representative.

> Latest news about the Presidency:  https://twitter.com/UN_HRC

> Latest news about the Czech Republic's national membership in the Council: Human Rights Council

> Speech by Permanent Representative Václav Bálek after his election as President of the UN Human Rights Council (9.12.2022): Full statement


What does the Human Rights Council's Presidency mean?

The Presidency is based on the resolution 16/21 and established practice. It officially lasts one calendar year from 1 January to 31 December. It includes traditional duties (organisational and procedural activities, representational duties) and ad-hoc activities. It is carried out by the HRC President - the Permanent Representative of the HRC member state holding the Presidency in a given year, according to a regional key. He is elected by other HRC member states at the organizational meeting in December of the previous year.


What is the President's role?

The president acts in a impartial manner to ensure that the Council functions in accordance with the principles of the United Nations. 


> Organisational activities 

Presiding three regular sessions and three sessions of the Universal Periodic Review,  special sessions (when organized)

Presiding the Bureau, coordinating body of the HRC

Appointing various mandate holders from HRC resolutions 

Managing efforts to improve the daily functioning of the HRC (e.g. better use of digital tools, accessibility for persons with disabilities)


> Representational duties

Representing the HRC to the public, media and UN system 

Business trips to New York (including meetings with the UN Secretary General or presenting the HRC annual report to the UN General Assembly)

Other business trips by invitation

Regular meetings with regional and political groups (in particular the five regional groups, the EU, the OIC or the Arab Group etc.) 

Regular meetings with representatives of UN Special Procedures and other HRC mechanisms


> Ad-hoc activities

Informal meetings 

Deciding on procedural disputes

Preparation of the HRC's commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Who participates in the Presidency?

The President of the HRC is assisted by four Vice-Presidents - Permanent Representatives of other four HRC member countries. For 2023, these are Bolivia, the Gambia, Luxembourg and the Maldives. Together with the President, they form the coordinating body of the HRC, also known as the Bureau. All UN regional groups are always represented in the Bureau. The President is further supported by the team of staff from the HRC Secretariat - Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and national experts.


What about the Czech membership in the Council?

During the Presidency, the Czech Republic continues to be a member of the Council - participating in negotiations and voting.


Permanent Representative Václav Bálek elected as President of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023


On Friday, 9 December, the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic Václav Bálek was elected as President of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023. For the first time in Council’s history, a Czech representative will assume the… more ►