The OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Germany’s OSCE Presidency 2016

Protection of Human Rights Defenders is vital for the OSCE Human Rights commitments.  voiced the OSCE/ODIHR Director Link  December 9, 2016 © OSCE

On December 9th, on the second day of OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg– the special attention was given to the subject of the Human Rights Defenders.

Excerpts from the statement by Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, ODIHR: 

Human rights defenders are often the focus of threats, attacks and legal harassment simply for trying to protect the rights of society’s most vulnerable people, without discrimination,” 

“I encourage OSCE participating States to seriously consider the Hamburg Declaration, which outlines many important actions to safeguard Human Rights Defenders from restrictions contrary to OSCE commitments.”  December 9, 2016 © OSCE public Affairs

  1. Related documents: Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  2. Austria’s OSCE Chairmanship 2017

News from Federal Foreign Office                                  News from Austrian MFA 
News from Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship
News from German Mission to NATO                 News from die Bundeswehr

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Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship and the Ministerial Council in Hamburg

Germany’s OSCE Presidency 2016

The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council meeting took place with the participants of 57 OSCE member States in Hamburg from December 8-9.  The event was executed under Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship and the invitation of OSCE Chairperson-in office, German Foreign Minister Dr.Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

During the two days meeting, the Council declared several important final decisions  including:  

The Council’s decision for the Chairmanship of 2018 went for Italy and the 2019 for Slovakia. 

  1. Related documents:  Greeting by the 2016 OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Dr. Steinmeier
  2. Austria’s OSCE Chairmanship 2017

News from Federal Foreign Office                                  News from Austrian MFA 
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Germany for United Nations Security Council 2019/20

germany-for-un-security-council-2019-2020-protected-by-copyright-law

   ‘Peace,  Justice,  Innovation and  Partnership’

are the  Concepts of Germany’s Foreign Policy which are promised, by German Government, to be extended firm and actively, to its Seat at the UN Security Council for 2019/2020.

“We want to stand up to face up to our responsibility and help work towards peace and justice,”  Germany’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council for the 2019–2020 term is a “demonstration of our commitment to an organisation that is more important than ever. “We need the United Nations if mediation work for peace and security in this crisis-ridden world is even to remain a possibility.” Elaborated Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Steinmeier September 21, 2016 © Federal Foreign Office

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International Human Rights Day 2016

President Obama’s Proclamation on Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week 2016 

“…….On Human Rights Day and during Human Rights Week, we reflect on how far we have come in upholding these universal rights and resolve to continue fighting to safeguard them wherever they are threatened.” December 9, 2016 © The White House Press Secretary. 

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Lilianne Ploumen, 

“Human Rights in Cyberspace is a whole new realm of opportunity and risk” December 10, 2016© Dutch MFA

Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler on Human Rights Day

“…..The Human Rights situation has deteriorated. The space available to civil society to demand Human Rights is decreasing all over the world. When I criticise the fact that this space is shrinking, the counterargument is almost always that Human Rights take different forms and cannot be implemented in full and in the same way everywhere. However, I only ever hear this argument from governments, never from those affected. The latter invoke the universality of these rights, and I too repeatedly underline that Human Rights apply in full, everywhere and for everyone – they are not subject to borders.” December 10, 2016 © German Foreign Office

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Franco-German Prize for Human Rights 2016

On December 1,  Minister Dr. Steinmeier and  Minister Jean‑Marc Ayrault  presented this year’s  Franco-German Prize for Human Rights to 16 Human Right Defenders from several countries.

Excerpts of the speech by Foreign Minister Dr. Steinmeier during the Award ceremony.   

“For both France and Germany, one thing is clear: Protecting and Promoting Human Rights is at the heart of our foreign policy endeavours. We act worldwide to further this cause.”

“You all have one thing in common: the Courage, Compassion and Determination with which you help others,”  December 5, 2016  © Federal Foreign Office

Both Ministers voiced their support for Human Rights Defenders around the World by publishing a joint article:                      Supporting those who are persecuted

  1. Additional: Speech by Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the presentation of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights   
  2. Statement by Foreign Ministers Steinmeier and Ayrault on the awarding of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights
  3.   Human Rights Defenders under Pressure by German Foreign Office September 2016

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The U.S-European Law-Enforcement in Operation Avalanche

EUROPOL Press release December 1, 2016 

On 30 November 2016, after more than four years of investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office Verden and the Lüneburg Police (Germany) in close cooperation with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Department of Justice and the FBI,  Europol,  Eurojust and global partners, dismantled an international criminal infrastructure platform known as ‘Avalanche’.  The Avalanche network was used as a delivery platform to launch and manage mass global malware attacks and money mule recruiting campaigns. It has caused an estimated EUR 6 million in damages in concentrated cyberattacks on online banking systems in Germany alone. In addition, the monetary losses associated with malware attacks conducted over the Avalanche network are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of euros worldwide, although exact calculations are difficult due to the high number of malware families managed through the platform. December 1, 2016   © EUROPOL       

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President Obama with the Executive Order blocked Aixtron purchase

President Obama with his Executive order prohibited the Chines purchase of Aixtron for National Security reasons.  Another audible sign that the U.S presence in Europe, is not a luxury but a Necessity for European Defense and Security Pillars, as the case in Aixtron showed that Germany has to rely on U.S. advice and steps.

President Obama’s Order Regarding the Proposed Acquisition of a Controlling Interest in Aixtron SE by Grand Chip Investment GMBH , The White House Press Release Dec 2, 2016 

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KFOR, EULEX, KP in Exercise Silver Sabre-2

The multinational Exercise Silver Sabre-2 was executed from November 21 -26 at Camp Film City, Camp Vrelo and Camp Pomazatin with the joint Forces of: NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR), the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), Kosovo Police (KP) and the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF). brigadier-general-bernd-thran-deputy-head-of-eulex-in-silver-sabre-2-november-28-2016

 

Brigadier General Bernd Thran, Deputy Head of EULEX (center) attedning the  Silver Sabre-2 Exercise.    November 28, 2016 © EULEX

The Exercise is in a series led by KFOR,  aimed to assess and upgrade the operational readiness and to enhance the coordinated efforts between KFOR,  EULEX, KP, KSF  in Kosovo. 

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The Role of EULEX Law-Enforcement in Kosovo

Senior Police Adviser, Oliver Hoffmann describes the role of EULEX  Police in Kosovo

2016 © EULEX

Additional: A view to EULEX and its successful mission in Kosovo

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The Netherlands takes a new step to promote Freedom of Expression

the-netherlands-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-engagement-in-freedom-of-expressions-2016Nov 25, 2016 © MFA of the  Netherlands

  1. Additional: The Human Rights Tulip award for individuals or organisations that promote Human Rights Worldwide in innovative ways.
  2. The Dutch Government’s action plans on supporting Human Rights Defenders
  3. The Dutch Government’s Human Rights Fund

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