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General human rights

German support for international agreements and institutions


Flag of the United Nations.

Primary re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for protecting human rights and establishing democratic structures rests with the governments of individual coun­tries. The central frame of reference and practical guidance for this national task are provided by the in­ter­national agreements and institutions.

Through its de­vel­op­ment policy, Germany helps ensure that human rights, democracy and good governance are given high priority internationally. It achieves this in the following ways:

  • Germany seeks to establish even closer links between realising human rights and implementing the Millennium De­vel­op­ment Goals, in both national and in­ter­national processes. This is designed to empower people in partner coun­tries to drive their own de­vel­op­ment process. To this end, the BMZ is funding measures of the United Nations De­vel­op­ment Programme (UNDP) to further integrate the human rights-based approach into pov­er­ty reduction strategies and good governance.
  • On the relevant in­ter­national bodies, including the De­vel­op­ment Assistance Committee of the Orga­ni­sa­tion for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD-DAC), Germany is working to establish more coherent links between human rights and de­vel­op­ment policy.
  • The BMZ is encouraging in­ter­national financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and the European Union, to adopt a more systematic human rights-based approach in their work. It is also supporting corresponding reform activities.
  • The BMZ supports the networking of national, regional and in­ter­national organisations operating in the field of human rights and de­vel­op­ment. This plays an im­por­tant role in harmonising the work and making the measures more effective.
  • To strengthen regional human rights systems, the BMZ is supporting the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, for example, in establishing effective structures and in cooperating with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and other im­por­tant human rights players in Africa.

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