Günter Nooke, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, left today (13 May) on a two-day trip to Washington.
Prior to his departure Nooke welcomed the election of the United States to the Human Rights Council, noting that it sent an important message that would make for a stronger Council. In this connection he issued the following statement:
"Human rights are a key issue in transatlantic relations. Respect for human rights is one of the fundamental values underpinning the close partnership between Germany and the United States. The policy of the new US Administration and the country's election yesterday to the United Nations Human Rights Council are good reasons to develop this partnership even further and conduct an even more intensive human rights dialogue. We are keen to have an amicable and constructive exchange of views on all bilateral and international human rights issues. That includes the question of the relocation of the Guantánamo detainees."
During his stay in Washington Nooke is due to hold talks with representatives of the State Department and the National Security Council as well as Congress and non-governmental organizations. The main focus will be recent changes in US human rights policy and yesterday's election of the US to the UN Human Rights Council.
At the German School Washington the Commissioner will also discuss with pupils "Twenty Years since the Fall of the Wall".