On 12 November 2012, Germany was voted onto the Human Rights Council for the term 2013-15, winning one of the three available seats in the Western European and Other States Group. During its membership, Germany strives to give the Human Rights Council a higher profile as the leading international institution concerned with human rights protection.
As a member of the Council, Germany works hard to ensure that children are better protected. Having campaigned particularly for the rights of children in situations of armed conflict during its membership of the UN Security Council in 2011/12, it intends to carry on this work in the Human Rights Council. Together with the Philippines, Germany is leading an initiative against human trafficking that resulted in the adoption in 2013 of a resolution against exploitative working conditions.
Only people who do not live in fear of hunger, thirst or illness can enjoy true freedom and take responsibility for their lives. This is why Germany attaches great importance also to social and economic human rights and pursues a campaign to implement the human right to water and sanitation.
In favor of more efficiency and effectiveness: German presidency of the Human Rights Council
The German Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Joachim Rücker, was elected last fall as Chairman of the Human Rights Council for 2015.
Ambassador Rücker took over the chairmanship of the Human Rights Council on January 1st , 2015. In this role he will lead three regular sessions of the Human Rights Council, three sessions of the Council concerning universal State review processes as well as any special meetings of the Council.
Immediately after his election, the new Council Chairman announced that he wanted to make the Human Rights Council more efficient and effective. This would also include a functioning and complementary cooperation between New York and Geneva, as well as addressing the question of the financing of the Council and its work. In addition, Ambassador Rücker wants to further strengthen the important role of civil society in human rights issues by integrating it more closely into the work of the Human Rights Council.
With Joachim Rücker’s election, it is the first time that a German diplomat chairs this important body. This also highlights the sustained commitment of German foreign policy to human rights.