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Protecting human rights in Afghanistan: Germany supports the creation of a new government body

17.08.2009

Along with other donors, Germany is supporting the creation of a special unit on human rights in the Afghan Ministry of Justice: the Human Rights Support Unit. The unit is being established on the ministry’s initiative with help from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federal Foreign Office is making USD 200,000 available for the project. The unit is expected to begin its work before the end of 2009; a project agreement between the Federal Foreign Office and UNDP was signed yesterday in Afghanistan.

In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (17 August):

“Strengthening human rights around the world is a key priority for German foreign policy. I therefore welcome the Afghan Government’s decision to equip the Ministry of Justice in Kabul with a special unit on human rights. This is an important step towards ensuring that the Afghan Government’s actions provide better human rights protection.”

In the Afghanistan Compact 2006 the Afghan Government committed to achieving certain goals, including those in the area of human rights. Among other things, by the end of 2010 the government should be able to fulfil the obligations laid down in international treaties on human rights and report on its compliance with these obligations.

The new Human Rights Support Unit will assist and coordinate the government agencies dealing with human rights issues. The unit’s main task will be to support the government as human rights aspects and related legislation are integrated into the government’s programme.

In 2009 the Federal Foreign Office is making available a total of 108.7 million euro for civilian reconstruction within the framework of the Stability Pact for Afghanistan.

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