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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on his visit to the Human Rights Council in Geneva

24.02.2020 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (24 February) on his visit to the Human Rights Council in Geneva:

German foreign policy is multilateral foreign policy. This is particularly apparent this week. I will attend the Human Rights Council in Geneva today and then hold a meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism. Tomorrow I will host my counterparts in Berlin at a meeting of the Stockholm initiative for nuclear disarmament. After that, I will travel to New York, where we will discuss the Non‑Proliferation Treaty on Wednesday and Thursday. We are thus sending a clear message that Germany champions a rules-based international order. And we are experiencing great support for our course of protecting and reinforcing multilateralism.

As a major export nation, we are concerned about the increasing disputes in global trade issues. That is why I will also hold talks with the WTO today. We are very concerned about the US’s blocking of appointments to the WTO Appellate Body. However, we also see that further reform of the WTO is needed.

In addition, I will meet Dr Tedros, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The coronavirus epidemic has shown us once again how important WHO’s work is, particularly in times of crisis. Germany supports WHO by contributing by far the largest amount of funding to its Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

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