Austrian Membership in the UN Human Rights Council
Austria’s membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council 2011-2014
On the 20th May 2011Austria was elected as member of the Human Rights Council by the General Assembly of the United Nations. As a result, Austria is a member in the highest forum for human rights within the United Nations from the 19th June 2011 to the 31st December 2014. Austria is a member in the Human Rights Council for the first time since its foundation in 2006. In addition, one of the vice presidents is also Austrian at the moment.
"The election result expresses the international community’s support for our longstanding and consistent commitment to the rule of law and the protection of human rights. It certainly also is an acknowledgement for Austria’s engagement for these key priorities – on the basis of a broad dialogue with partners from all over the world- during its membership in the Security Council. Now we have to live up to this trust placed in us by continuing and deepening our commitment to human rights on a global scale."
Dr. Michael Spindelegger
Federal Minister for European and International Affairs
The promotion and protection of human rights are of utmost importance to Austria. Austria is committed to a comprehensive protection of human rights at national and international level. Austrian politics are firmly rooted in the conviction that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. The promotion and protection of all human rights have to be advanced through global partnership and dialogue with all actors. The United Nations Human Rights Council plays a key role in the international field in this regard.
The membership in the Human Rights Council is based on the following considerations:
- The promotion and protection of human rights is a core priority of Austria’s foreign policy.
- Within the framework of the United Nations, Austria is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights on a global scale
- Austria’s engagement in multilateral fora on human rights has always been guided by a spirit of cooperation and dialogue
- Austria actively supports of the United Nations treaty bodies, the Special Procedures and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Austria’s engagement on human rights at the international level is based on a firm commitment to human rights protection at the national level
- Austria’s commitment for the promotion of human rights is underpinned by its engagement in the field of development cooperation
In the past years Austria has intensified its efforts in certain priority areas in the field of human rights:
- Children’s Rights
- Women’s Rights
- Strengthening the Rule of Law
- Human Rights Education
- Fight against Trafficking of Human Beings
Austria’s numerous activities and initiatives are closely coordinated at different levels with a multitude of partners. The membership on the Human Rights Council allows Austria to strengthen and deepen this engagement.
In accordance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/251 Austria presented its voluntary pledges and commitments on 21 March 2010.
The Austrian statements before the Human Rights Council are available on the website of the Austrian Mission in Geneva.