El Salvador Elected to UN Human Rights Council

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In an acknowledgement of El Salvador’s recent advances in the area of human rights, on Tuesday, October 21, the country was unanimously elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2015-2017 term. The election constitutes a particular badge of honor for leftist President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, a former guerilla leader and signatory of the 1992 Peace Accords that ended the nation’s 12-year civil war and dismantled a military dictatorship.

“Today is a historic and joyous moment for our government and for our people, because having been elected to join the Council represents a deserved recognition that we are receiving from the international community for all of the efforts since 2009 and today, with the administration of President Sánchez Cerén, that we have carried out in favor of protecting, recognizing and promoting fundamental human rights,” Foreign Relations Minister Hugo Martínez remarked.

In order to qualify for election to the Council, nations must demonstrate clear gains in human rights and present projections for future advances. Human Rights advocates in El Salvador celebrated the vote as recognition of the strides made in recent years and as a challenge for the future: “The country’s appointment is positive in that it brings international recognition, but it also makes clear that with this election, in addition to offering the opportunity to work in favor of human rights worldwide through the country’s work in the Council, the country should also increase its efforts to fulfill its human rights obligations at the domestic level,” said Human Rights Ombudsman David Morales.

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