Respect for and the protection and expansion of human rights is a central pillar of German foreign policy. In the UN, Germany works in the General Assembly and as a member of the Human Rights and Security Councils to protect human rights around the world.
The Third Committee
Within the UN System, the two bodies most responsible for protecting human rights are the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Third Committee of the General Assembly, which meets annually in New York. Germany contributes actively to the Third Committee by presenting and co-sponsoring resolutions. In 2019, Germany presented two resolutions that were adopted by consensus in the Third Committee. The first will act to strengthen National Human Rights Institutions. The second, co-sponsored by Spain, reinforces the human rights to water and sanitation. Germany also works as a part of the EU to ensure the human rights of women, persons with disabilities and other persons in vulnerable situations. In addition, it stands up for the work of human rights defenders and the protection of journalists. Every other year, Germany also presents a resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, thereby recognizing that evolving technologies are both a challenge and opportunity for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Some things are non-negotiable: Germany continues to campaign assiduously for human rights around the world. Indeed, working for human rights is not only a basic tenet of our foreign policy – it is also in Germany’s interests.