At a session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday, October 28, Hungary was elected member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2017-2019. Joining Hungary on the Human Rights Council as representatives of Central and Eastern Europe will be Croatia.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 2006, the Human Rights Council is one of the UN’s most important intergovernmental bodies. The 47 member states who sit on the Council are tasked with the international oversight and protection of human rights as well as taking action against any infringements. Hungary previously served as a member of the Council on one other occasion from 2009 to 2012. Hungary’s current mandate is for three years and will begin in 2017. Countries vying for the two available seats on the UN Human Rights Council for the Eastern European region included Hungary, Croatia, and Russia, with the first two countries becoming members of the HRC.

Speaking after the General Assembly’s vote garnering 144  votes out of a possible 185, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó commended the Assembly’s decision and said that “despite the insults, attacks and false charges committed against us in the international press, the world believes that we are fit to be on the Human Rights Council.” “Hungary will take action in the interests of human rights and democracy throughout the world, and also to ensure that the world acquires an accurate image of the country,” added the Foreign Minister.