The Asia Pacific Group of States has endorsed Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva – Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, as the Vice President of the Council as of yesterday, and has advised the Human Rights Council Secretariat accordingly.

The position will require the chairing of a number of sessions at the Human Rights Council in 2019, including some sessions of the Universal Periodic Reviews of states under review.

The Human Rights Council Bureau is the organisational head of the Council, presided over by the President of the Council. The Bureau of the Council consists of five people – one President and four Vice-presidents – representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle.

In accepting the endorsement, which was unanimously accepted by all States present, Ambassador Khan said this representation is significant particularly – given that it’s the first time for a small island state from the Pacific, to sit as a member of the Council, and not only that, but to also take the position of Vice President of the Council.

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