Statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to her departure for the Human Rights Council in Geneva

25.02.2024 - Press release

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued the following statement today (26 February) prior to her departure for the Human Rights Council in Geneva:

Human rights are universal, indivisible and inalienable. They do not distinguish between north and south, east and west. They are valid for all people, at all times and in all places.

And in all places they have equal value. Because each and every human life counts in equal measure. We do not look away when a young woman in Tehran pays with her life for her locks of hair glistening in the sunshine. When a desperate father in Rafah does not know how to feed his children. When a woman in Tel Aviv cannot forget the trauma of sexual violence. When a teenage boy in St Petersburg faces a draconian punishment for quietly laying down flowers. When a girl in Mazar-e Sharif will never be allowed to go to school to learn to read. And also when every four minutes a woman in Germany is attacked by her (ex-)partner.

None of this can be tolerated. None of this we can ignore. Because for far too many people in the world the promise contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has not been fulfilled even 75 years on. It is a major achievement to have this thrust into sharp relief through the lens at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Particularly in a world ridden with crisis and conflict, we must not allow this lens to cloud. It must remain clear to be able to shine a light in the places where no-one looks – in Iran and elsewhere in our world.

That is what I am working for. That is why we will always listen in the Human Rights Council, use our voice, call injustice by its name and demand accountability – for every person in the world.


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