The United Nations Human Rights Council is composed of 47 countries, elected among the 191 nations that form the UN’s highest authority, the General Assembly.
The election was held on May 9, and the seats were distributed according to a criterion of equitable geographic representation.
There are 13 African countries, 13 Asian countries, 7 Eastern European countries, 8 Latin American and Caribbean countries, and 7 Western European and other countries.
The members of the Council are elected for three-years terms and cannot be reelected after serving for two consecutive terms. Brazil is a member of the Council and its mandate runs through 2008.
For the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, the main purpose of the Human Rights Council should be not to condemn but to make sure that everyone can "enjoy a life free from fear, hunger, and disrespect."