On 23 June in New York, Ilze Brands-Kehris was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee for the term 2017-2020. This is the first time that a representative from Latvia was a candidate for a post on the committee. Candidates from 22 countries had been nominated for nine positions of independent experts. Ilze Brands-Kehris is the first expert from the Baltic States who will work on the UN Human Right Committee.
The election of Ilze Brands-Kehris to the UN Human Right Committee means high appreciation of her knowledge and experience, said Ambassador Jānis Mažeiks, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nation in New York, after the elections. At the same time, he noted, this is also acknowledgement by the UN member states of Latvia’s achievements in the human rights sector, since the UN Human Rights Committee is the most important and prestigious structure of elected UN experts.
Ilze Brands-Kehris is a human rights expert with more than twenty years of experience. Over this time, she has occupied important posts such as Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights (2002-2011), Chairperson of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (2010-2012), and Director of the Office of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in The Hague (2011-2014). Ilze Brands-Kehris is currently Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, on Conflict Prevention and Human Rights, Including Minority Rights.
The Human Rights Committee is composed of 18 independent human rights experts. The UNHRC works in the format of annual sessions in Geneva. The main task of the independent experts is to supervise the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its States Parties. The States Parties to the Covenant are expected to submit regular reports, usually once in four years. The Covenant took effect in 1976 and has been currently ratified by 169 States Parties. Latvia acceded to the Covenant on 14 April 1992.
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