Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Günter Nooke left Friday (4 April) on a week-long trip to the Republic of Yemen and the Arab Republic of Egypt.
His talks in Yemen with members of the Government as well as civil society and trade union representatives will focus on human rights, with special reference to issues relating to the death penalty, human rights protection in the context of combating terrorism and women's rights. He is also due to meet representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). His schedule also includes a visit to a camp near Aden housing mainly Somali refugees. Most recently in late 2007 the Federal Foreign Office made a donation to UNHCR for refugee aid operations in Yemen. At the German Cultural Centre in Aden the Commissioner will also meet German-speaking alumni.
In Egypt, the second leg of his trip, he will hold talks with government officials, the Vice-President of the National Human Rights Council and representatives of human rights organizations and Opposition media. The talks will focus on the Government's political reform agenda as well as freedom of the media and multilateral issues. The Commissioner will also meet representatives of the Coptic Church and the Baha'i faith. In January 2008 the Cairo Administrative Court allowed an appeal by two Baha'i for their religious affiliation not to be entered on their personal identity documents, a ruling welcomed by the German Government. His schedule will also include a visit to a GTZ-supported project to promote greater networking among women's rights organizations in Cairo.