Map of the Month

The KAS Map of the Month

34. Special Session of UN Human Rights Council on Ukraine

Map of the Month 05/2022

On 12 May, the 34th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression took place in Geneva. Ukraine had requested the session and also submitted a draft resolution. It was adopted with only China and Eritrea voting against. It strengthens the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry. Many diplomats also expressed concern about the global impact of the war on food and energy security. Russia boycotted the meeting.

Key votes at the 49th UN Human Rights Council and Suspension of Russian membership

Map of the Month 04/2022

The 49th UN Human Rights Council convened in Geneva from February 28 to April 1, 2022. It was the longest session in the Council's history and a particular test for multilateral diplomacy, not only because of the situation in Ukraine. In addition to the emergency session and the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, there were other important votes, including on the extension of the mandate of the UN High Commissioner to further investigate human rights violations in Belarus or the establishment of a group of human rights experts on Nicaragua. Numerous joint statements were delivered, including on the human rights situation in Russia and in Yemen. Meanwhile, China, once again spoke out in favor of a state-centered "human rights dialogue" and a modified role for the Office of the UN High Commissioner in order to avoid criticism and scrutiny.

Composition of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) from 2021-2024

Map of the Month 03/2022

On 25 March 2022, the Governing Body, the executive organ of the ILO, will elect the new ILO Director-General. The Governing Body is composed of 56 regular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers members, and 14 Workers members). Ten of the regular government seats are permanently held by countries of major industrial importance, including Germany, China, the USA, and Russia. The other Government members are elected by the Conference every three years (the last elections were held in June 2014). The Employer and Worker members are elected in their individual capacity. There are also 66 deputy members (28 governments, 19 employers, and 19 workers), which are not shown on this map. This map depicts the regular members and their respective functions.

Central votes and positioning on Russian aggression against Ukraine

Map of the Month 03/2022

The Russian aggression against Ukraine was strongly condemned in numerous UN bodies. In the course of the past week, the pressure on the Russian Federation increased visibly. At the beginning of the week, the UN Human Rights Council had voted on holding an urgent debate. Five member states had spoken out against it. Towards the end of the week, an independent commission of enquiry on the situation in Ukraine was set up with only Eritrea voting alongside Russia against it. The text of the resolution also notes the decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to proceed with opening an investigation into the situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible. 39 states had so far officially referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC. The UN General Assembly in New York also strongly condemned the Russian invasion in a historic "Uniting for Peace" resolution.

Strengthening of International Health Regulations in the WHO Executive Board

Map of the Month 02/2022

There were not many breakthroughs at the 150th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting at the end of January. However, the decision to strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR) is seen as an important step for international cooperation on pandemic preparedness and global health governance.

Voting behaviour in the UN Human Rights Council in 2021: in relation to Germany and China

Map of the Month 01/2022

The Map of the Month January illustrates the joint voting behaviour of the Members of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) with Germany and China in 2021. A total of 80 resolutions were adopted in the Council last year, 38 of which had to be put to a vote due to a lack of consensus. In addition to the EU Member States, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Ukraine voted most frequently with Germany, while China, Cameroon, Eritrea and Russia, Venezuela and India's votes least frequently aligned with Germany's. On the other hand, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Eritrea and Bolivia in particular voted most often with China, while EU countries (especially the Czech Republic), South Korea, Ukraine, the Marshall Islands and the United Kingdom voted with China particularly rarely. The African countries abstained comparatively frequently, with Malawi still voting most frequently together with Germany.

Consensus toward a WHO convention at the WHA and interested states for the pilot study for the UHPR.

Map of the Month 12/2021

This week, WHO member states have gathered at the second World Health Assembly Special Session and adopted a critical decision that will launch negotiations for a WHO convention, agreement or other instrument for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The second map shows the 14 countries that expressed interest in piloting the Universal Health and Preparedness Review, a periodic peer-review modeled after the Universal Periodic Review for human rights situations under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council. (more below)

Membership of WTO Members in Plurilaterals or Joint Initiatives

Map of the Month 11/2021

So-called plurilateral initiatives are discussions at the WTO in which only a part of its members are participating. They can i.a. aim at creating new rules or liberalising tariffs. Given the very difficult discussions on a multilateral level, in plurilateral initiatuves have been considered by many WTO members as crucial to reinvigorate trade cooperation at the WTO. Ongoing or concluded plurilateral initiatives focus on services domestic regulations, e-commerce, MSMEs, trade and gender, investment facilitation, environmental goods and government procurement. In addition - given that the WTO Appellate Body is currently blocked - 52 WTO members have agreed on a Multi-party interim appeal arbitration agreement (MPIA) which is an alternative system for resolving WTO disputes that are appealed by a WTO Member. As the map of the month map demonstrates, the vast majority of WTO members participates in at least one plurilateral initiative, some are taking part in all current plurilaterals.

About this series

The "Map of the Month", a new series of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, uses maps to illustrate global trends and the role of Germany and Europe in the world on a monthly basis.

Dr. Olaf Wientzek

Olaf Wientzek bild

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva

olaf.wientzek@kas.de +41 22 748 70 70