Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement on 6 January on Germany’s membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council:
Germany is to remain on the United Nations Human Rights Council for another three-year term (2016 to 2018). I am very pleased about this. We view our re-election in part as a vote of confidence for our efforts to protect and promote human rights worldwide. Ambassador Rücker stepped down as President of the Human Rights Council at the end of 2015. I would expressly like to thank him for his hard work. He consolidated Germany’s reputation as a builder of bridges in an environment that was not always easy and at times highly polarised, and credibly championed the indivisibility and universality of human rights.
I hope that the processes he launched to improve the Council’s efficiency and effectiveness and his efforts to enhance civil society participation in the work of the Human Rights Council will be continued by his successor, Ambassador Choi Kyong-Lim of Korea, and sustained by the members of the Human Rights Council. I wish Ambassador Choi Kyong-Lim all the best in this challenging post.
The United Nations Human Rights Council replaced the former Commission on Human Rights in June 2006. The Council has 47 member states and convenes three times a year (in March, June and September) as a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly. Together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council constitutes the chief intergovernmental human rights element of the United Nations system. Its primary functions are to investigate human rights abuses and to further develop international human rights standards.