Dirk Niebel, German federal minister of economic cooperation and development. The loss of FDP means member Dirk Niebel is due to be replaced at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Photo by: Diego Ibarra / EU

The German ministry responsible for international development cooperation should have veto powers when disagreements among other government agencies over the issue of human rights occur.

The call was made by two European aid groups, Terre des homes and Welthungerhilfe. And it comes at a time when the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel is negotiating with potential coalition partners, after its erstwhile partner Free Democratic Party failed to get a seat in the Bundestag as a result of the recent federal election.

The loss of FDP means member Dirk Niebel is due to be replaced at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The proposition, according to observers and based on conventional wisdom, had little chance of being considered under the center-right coalition of CDU/CSU and FDP. But now, with the possibility of left-leaning Greens joining the coalition government, the prospect is a bit brighter.

That said, aid or human rights won’t likely figure into the talks between CDU/CSU and the Green to be held later today.

The move to elevate a development agency as the premier authority on human rights governmentwide is nothing new. Both the U.S. and U.K. governments have tried but their foreign ministries continue to have reign over the issue.

Will Germany will be a different case? Stay tuned.

Read more:

About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.

Join the Discussion