Westerwelle at the UN Security Council in New York
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke to the Security Council on 4 May about combating terrorism and safeguarding human rights. He discussed the situation in Syria with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Westerwelle at the Security Council
© photothek / Imo
Westerwelle said that the UN Security Council’s sanctions regimes had weakened terrorists’ resources during the last few years. As the current Chair of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, Germany remained committed to working with all member states to combat terrorism. He went on to say that further efforts were needed. Above all, Germany strongly advocated a further strengthening of international cooperation and capacity building.
The Foreign Minister highlighted three points: first, all measures to counter terrorism always had to be based on respect for human rights and the principles of the rule of law. “These are the core values of our United Nations“, stated Westerwelle. Second, the UN sanctions regimes needed to be a leading example for fair and transparent procedures. For several years Germany had been advocating improvements in this field. Westerwelle encouraged the Security Council to continue on this route.
Third, efforts to incite terrorism and recruit terrorists, for example on the Internet, had to be effectively countered. “Identifying effective measures whilst ensuring full respect for fundamental freedoms is a challenge for all of us”, said Westerwelle. The whole international community had to work together to this end, he continued.
Bilateral talks with the UN Secretary-General
During a subsequent meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Westerwelle discussed current international issues, including Iran, Myanmar and the situation in Syria. Westerwelle reaffirmed Germany’s offer to provide material and logistical support for the observer mission in Syria. In the morning, Westerwelle told journalists in New York that the situation in Syria was difficult. However, Germany wanted to see a political solution: “We want to support Kofi Annan’s six-point proposal. Firstly, we have to help the people. Secondly, however, we have to prevent the crisis from spreading to the rest of the region.”
After the Security Council meeting, Westerwelle attended a lunch with the UN Secretary-General and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, the current President of the UN Security Council. Prior to the lunch, Westerwelle had bilateral talks with Aliyev, during which the entire spectrum of bilateral issues was discussed.
On the basis of UN Security Council resolutions, the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee takes measures such as the freezing of assets, travel bans and arms embargoes against persons and organizations accused by the Security Council of having ties to al-Qaida. Germany is seeking within the group of “like-minded” countries including Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland to strengthen fair and transparent rules for targeted counter-terrorism sanctions and to make the UN sanctions regime even more effective.
Last updated 04.05.2012