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Statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the occasion of the launch of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations (Video conference)

15.02.2021 - Speech

Managing relations between states can be a tricky business. Most of us know this from our day‑to‑day experience.

But in foreign policy, one thing is clear: Differences between states must never be played out in the lives of individual citizens.

The arbitrary arrest or detention of foreign nationals contravenes international norms.

It violates the basic human rights of the detainee.

And in most cases, it boils down to a simple act of extortion.

That is why we must all push back against this practice.

We are doing so today by endorsing the Declaration Against the Use of Arbitrary Detention in State‑to‑State Relations.

And I thank our Canadian friends, especially Marc and François-Philippe, for this initiative.

Germany is looking forward to building on today’s declaration:

Increasing information sharing between us will be key. Our Ministries and embassies in relevant countries could coordinate even more closely.

We can also learn from each other by exchanging best practices.

And on this basis, we can create common leverage and engage in joint advocacy.

Dear friends,
We have to take action against arbitrary detentions because human rights, stability and peace go hand in hand.

And because the human suffering caused by violations of international law and human rights obliges us to act.

Thank you.

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