UN Human Rights Council’s First-Ever Presidential Vote


  • The UN Human Rights Council elected Fiji's ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan as its president in 2021after a diplomatic stand-off blocked the usual consensus decision.
  • The council's presidency rotates each year between the regions and the candidate is typically agreed upon by consensus within each regional group.
  • This year, though, the Asia-Pacific group due to take the helm failed to agree on a candidate -- or even on holding a vote within their group.
  • That meant the council, which for the first time in its 15-year history began the year with no president, was forced to hold unprecedented vote among all 47 members.