The United Nations has declared the protection and promotion of human rights to be one of its major preoccupations. The Human Rights Council therefore plays a key role within the United Nations system. The Human Rights Council was established in 2006 as the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Germany was a founding member of the Human Rights Council from 2006 to 2009. Germany regards the Human Rights Council as the central international institution for the protection of human rights and the further development of human rights standards. On 12 November 2012, Germany was again elected to the Human Rights Council for the period 2013-2015.
Focuses of German engagement
Foreign Minister Westerwelle said: “Everything we do to advance the cause of human rights we do in the belief that these rights are universal, inalienable and indivisible. Our guiding principle here, enshrined in our Basic Law, is that human dignity is inviolable. We intend to give economic and social human rights just as much attention as we give to political and civil rights. Only people who do not live in fear of hunger, thirst or illness can enjoy true freedom and take responsibility for their lives. That is why we plan to take forward our initiatives on important issues such as the human right to water and sanitation, the fight against trafficking in human beings and the human right to adequate housing. In the UN Security Council we have been campaigning particularly for the rights of children in situations of armed conflict. We intend to work hard also in the Human Rights Council to ensure that children all over the world are better protected.”
(Copyright: Auswärtiges Amt)