Marking Human Rights Day (10 December), Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle underscored the importance of human rights worldwide. Exactly 62 years ago, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement:
“The protection of human rights is a cornerstone of German foreign policy. Human rights are universal, inalienable and indivisible. Only if human rights are respected can there be lasting peace and economic development.
Much remains to be done here. To this day, too many people end up behind bars for wanting to voice their opinion freely. To this day, too many people fall victim to racism and xenophobia. To this day, too many people are persecuted because of their faith.
Work for human rights and the protection of human rights defenders thus remains a central focus of our policy.
I am particularly concerned by the need to protect children who are used as child soldiers or forced to engage in child labour. We also want to use our forthcoming membership of the United Nations Security Council to improve the protection of children in armed conflict.”