Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, and Dr Peter Altmaier, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, will present the first German country report in the Human Rights Council in Geneva today (2 February). After presenting the report, the two men will answer questions from UN member states.
The newly created UPR (Universal Periodic Review) obliges UN member states to allow the human rights situation in their country to be reviewed by the Human Rights Council every four years. The German Government actively supported the creation of such a universal procedure during the negotiations on the new Human Rights Council.
The UPR is based on national country reports, a compilation of documents prepared by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a summary of statements submitted by NGOs on the country in question. In accordance with the rules on the UPR mechanism, the German Government consulted the German Institute for Human Rights and the NGOs represented in the Human Rights Forum before drawing up Germany's country report.
48 states have already been examined since 2008 and Germany is the first country to undergo the UPR mechanism in 2009. Alongside Germany, other countries including Canada, Russia, China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia will be presenting their country reports in February.