Peace, security, disarmament
A UN peacekeeper assists safe food distribution in Haiti
German foreign policy is peace policy. In collaboration with its partners, Germany is active in the United Nations, NATO, the OSCE and other organizations, in pursuit of a fair, peaceful and stable international order. Within this policy, particular emphasis is placed on the prevention and resolution of crises as well as disarmament and non-proliferation.
As a country with a dense network of international links and large volumes of international trade, Germany has a strong interest in a stable and peaceful world. Western and Central Europe has been spared military conflict since the Second World War. However, as the conflicts in former Yugoslavia showed in the early 1990s, this cannot be taken for granted. Many parts of the world are still subject to military and political conflict and great material need. Germany intends to contribute towards the search for a solution to these problems.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 24.9.2011
Germany is actively engaged in the United Nations (UN) and plays an important role in shaping practically all areas of its work. Germany is the UN’s third-biggest financial contributor at present and a potential candidate for a permanent seat on the Security Council.
In 2011 and 2012, Germany was able to play an active role in the work of the Security Council as a non-permanent member. Germany’s priorities included issues such as children and armed conflicts, climate change and security as well as Afghanistan. Respect for human rights is also of particular importance to us. Germany was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva for the period 2013 to 2015.
Germany also intends to continue pushing for UN reform, so that the organization embodies a more realistic reflection of today’s global balance of power and can fulfil its tasks efficiently.
North Atlantic Alliance
Since the Federal Republic joined NATO, the Organization’s remit has shifted due to changes in the international security situation. Following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, its main tasks of deterrence and defence were joined by other important issues: cooperation with former enemies, taking in new members and conflict-prevention and ‑resolution outside the NATO area, such as the NATO engagement in Afghanistan.
At the NATO summit held in Lisbon in November 2010, the Organization decided on a new Strategic Concept. Germany campaigned successfully to have NATO join the pursuit of disarmament and non-proliferation. At the last NATO summit in Chicago in 2012, the Alliance agreed to withdraw its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012. However, Afghanistan is to receive assistance with vocational training as well as advisory services and financial aid after that.
OSCE election observation in Albania
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Within the framework of the OSCE, too, Germany works for peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.
The Organization was created in 1975 by the Helsinki Final Act. Its activities are divided into three areas, or “dimensions”: the politico-military, and economic-environmental and the human. Germany is represented in almost all OSCE long-term missions and institutions. Germany sees particular importance in the OSCE’s campaign against anti-Semitism.
Disarmament and arms control
“Friends of the Non-Proliferation Treaty” group in Berlin
Germany campaigns actively for disarmament, arms control and the non-proliferation of weapon of mass destruction, and it supports the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Within the framework of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), Germany is seeking along with nine other states to reduce nuclear risks through practical steps such as negotiations on a ban regarding production of fissile material for weapons purposes.
In many countries of the world, Germany promotes projects to control small arms and to implement the ban on landmines and cluster munitions with the aim of seeing it universally applied.
Crisis prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding
Germany is an important partner for the international community when it comes to peacekeeping within the United Nations framework.
For more than 20 years now, Germany has been contributing peacekeeping troops (known as “blue helmets”) to international UN missions, for example in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Lebanon, the Sudan and South Sudan. Germany also plays a key role in the international efforts to help build up police forces. Germany’s engagement in building up the police force in Afghanistan is a priority.
The Federal Foreign Office is also promoting democracy-building projects as well as NGO projects on conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding.