I consider my appointment today by the Federal Cabinet as the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance to be a great honour. For the last eight years, I have been working in the German Bundestag for a humane refugee policy based on solidarity in Germany, Europe and the world. I am looking forward to bringing my expertise to bear in my work as Human Rights Commissioner.
I am taking on this new task at a time when the commitment to the universal validity of human rights is facing major challenges. Human rights violations are a daily occurrence in many parts of the world. The ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic has further augmented inequalities that have existed for many decades and has presented autocracies in particular with a welcome pretext for curtailing fundamental rights on a permanent basis. In my new post, I will work resolutely for the protection of human rights throughout the world. The protection of human rights defenders will be a main focus in this endeavour.
In the sphere of humanitarian assistance, I will work to ensure that Germany extends its engagement worldwide, thus reflecting the rising number of crises and conflicts. At the same time, it is important to Germany as the second-largest donor to further develop the humanitarian system and make it more effective. During our G7 Presidency, we therefore intend to cooperate with our partners to advance anticipatory humanitarian assistance in particular. That means taking action before floods, droughts or storms destroy people’s livelihoods.
I will be guided in my political work by my commitment to a feminist foreign policy. This includes protecting women, girls and marginalised groups, as well as strengthening the role of women in foreign policy. What is more, I see the office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance as an interface between civil society, Parliament and the Federal Government. I would like to continue the good work done by my predecessor, Bärbel Kofler, here. As Federal Commissioner, I will always stand up for human rights and, wherever necessary, will seek to support the Federal Government’s human rights policy with constructive criticism.