Wednesday, February 24, 2021

UN Human Rights Council: Maas warns of influence from individual countries


Status: 02/22/2021 3:52 p.m.

Foreign Minister Maas has warned against the obstruction of the work of the UN Human Rights Council by individual member states. Differences in opinion should not be a pretext for holding up the work of the Council.

In a video message to the UN body, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas very much welcomed the announced return of the USA to the Human Rights Council – in 2018 the United States resigned under former President Donald Trump.

At the same time, Maas pointed out that different cultural backgrounds or perspectives should never be a reason for the work of the UN Human Rights Council to be influenced or stopped by individual member states.

UN Human Rights Council under fire

The UN Human Rights Council, established in 2006, investigates violations of human rights and suggests solutions. It has long been criticized because there are also countries among the member states in which human rights are barely respected, including China.

With his video message, Maas responded to the criticism and defended the diverse composition of the council: “Different points of view fuel debates and lead to better results.” In order not to hinder the work of the council, however, one must always take a clear position – for example on “China’s crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong,” said the foreign minister.

New challenges for the UN body

Both climate change and the corona pandemic mean that the UN body is faced with responsible tasks. That is why Maas spoke out in favor of strengthening the “human rights architecture of the United Nations”. In this context, Germany will increase its voluntary contributions to the UN human rights office.



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