Global problems require global solutions – Foreign Minister Gabriel travels to the UN General Assembly week in New York

20.09.2017 - Article
Federal Foreign Minister Gabriel and UN Secretary-General Guterres
Federal Foreign Minister Gabriel and UN Secretary-General Guterres© photothek.net

There is more contact between countries in New York this week than anywhere else in the world. As the member states of the United Nations (UN) convene for their 72nd General Assembly this week, the focus is on international crises and conflicts. The members will strive to achieve solutions at a large number of bilateral talks and events in New York. Despite the general election in Germany on 24 September, the German Foreign Minister must not miss the General Assembly.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has travelled to the UN General Assembly in New York. The event, to which Heads of State and Government travel from all over the world, is taking place at a crisis-ridden time that includes the nuclear dispute with North Korea, discussions on the nuclear agreement with Iran, the developments in eastern Ukraine and the situation facing refugees from Myanmar.

Underlining Germany’s support for disarmament

In his speech to the General Assembly, which is scheduled for Thursday afternoon (21 September), Gabriel plans to underline Germany’s support for greater disarmament rather than rearmament.

I firmly believe that it falls to Germany in particular to promote détente, political dialogue, diplomatic solutions, solidarity, cooperation and peaceful exchange, both between East and West and North and South!

Maintaining the agreement with Iran and stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons

Foreign Minister Gabriel surrounded by journalists in New York
Foreign Minister Gabriel surrounded by journalists in New York© photothek.net

On the first day of his visit, Gabriel conducted a large number of talks, including with his counterparts from Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Ukraine. With regard to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Gabriel urged that the treaty, which was only achieved after great efforts, should not be jeopardised. “In the past two years, we have seen that the agreement is working and that it has prevented a dangerous nuclear proliferation in the region,” he said.

The crisis on the nuclear dispute with North Korea shows how acute the risk of global nuclear armament has become. “If the international community does not succeed in preventing the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea, other countries will follow suit and also acquire nuclear arms,” Gabriel said in New York.

A strong United Nations with Germany in the Security Council

UN Security Council© picture alliance / dpa

General Assembly week in New York is the best place for all those involved to discuss international conflicts. Foreign Minister Gabriel said: “We certainly need the United Nations to play a greater role – not a smaller one. In this era of crises and conflicts, the values of the Charter of the United Nations and cooperation between its members under the auspices of the United Nations are perhaps more important than ever.” It is thus vital to make the United Nations more effective on a permanent basis. To this end, Gabriel will attend high‑level meetings on the comprehensive reforms planned by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres. Germany supports the Secretary‑General’s endeavours and urges reform of the Security Council in particular.

Find out more:

Germany in the United Nations

On a mission for peace: Germany as a partner in UN peacekeeping

Germany’s candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2019/20

Statement by Foreign Minister Gabriel prior to his departure for New York

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