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Rede von Europa-Staatsminister Michael Roth bei der hochrangigen Debatte in der Generalversammlung der Vereinten Nationen in New York

10.05.2016 - Rede

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Deputy Secretary-General,
President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished keynote speakers,
Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the German Government, I would like to thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this debate, and for doing so in a very innovative way.

The international order is increasingly coming under pressure. Crisis seems to be the new normal. Almost all of the current challenges call for regional, or even global, solutions.

Some people may see the United Nations as part of the old order that is being challenged. However, we all know that the UN is and remains the only truly global forum. Only at the UN are we able to find and implement global solutions.

A more efficient and effective UN is thus in our common interest. The need for reform is obvious. We see five crucial steps:

First, the UN has to improve its mechanisms for conflict prevention, mediation and management.

Second, certain structural reforms are necessary, including a reform of the Security Council.

Third, the three pillars – peace and security, human rights and development – must be dealt with in an integrated way.

Fourth, women have an important role to play in promoting the UN’s peace and security agenda. Our joint efforts will only be successful if we take advantage of women’s unique potential.

Fifth, the UN needs to form and maintain stronger partnerships. Safeguarding peace and security is a tremendous task, which no organisation can shoulder on its own. We therefore have to make use of existing synergies.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Germany fully supports the three recent UN reviews. We welcome both the underlying philosophy and the numerous concrete recommendations contained in the reports. Germany will do its utmost to help implement these proposals.

In our view, we should focus on various UN concepts and instruments:

We need greater clarity on what conflict prevention entails and on how to effectively use – or even enlarge – our toolbox.

With regard to mediation, we need more innovative and inclusive approaches, such as greater involvement of civil society before violence erupts.

Germany also firmly believes that stabilisation measures can help to resolve armed conflicts. We have to combine instruments from different sectors with one overarching goal, that is, to offer strong incentives for the conflict parties to take the first step towards peace. Harvesting the peace dividend is much better than sticking to extremism and violence, which will not pay off in the long run.

Last but surely not least, we should not relent in our efforts to make peace operations more efficient, more effective and safer for peacekeepers. We are pleased to present an independent study by the German Center for International Peace Operations. Commissioned by my Government, the paper makes a number of valuable recommendations on further changes to UN peace operations. You will find a copy of the study on your desk and on the web.

Germany is playing its part in the tasks ahead of us all. We will allocate ten million euros to the Peacebuilding Fund this year. We have also just contributed an additional three million euros to the DPA Trust Fund.

Ladies and gentlemen,

More than half a century ago, former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld pointed out that the United Nations must be a “dynamic instrument” for peace and security rather than a form of “static conference machinery”.

I therefore hope that this debate will help to bring about a stronger United Nations. We may live in a world of risks, as the title of this debate says, but it is also a world of manifold opportunities. We just have to take them.

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