Germany in the United Nations

20.07.2018 - Article

Germany is the fourth-largest financial contributor to the UN and is involved in a number of peace missions. Beyond that, Germany is a strong advocate of UN Reform.

Germany - the fourth-largest financial contributor

Germany has been a UN member state for 45 years
Germany has been a UN member state for 45 years© dpa/picture alliance

 In the course of its 45-year membership, Germany’s multifaceted commitment to the UN has constantly grown. Many UN institutions are now based in Germany, particularly in Bonn. Germany is active in a large number of UN committees, institutions and peace missions and has been a non-permanent member of the Security Council five times, most recently in 2011 12. In June 2018, Germany was elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2019-2020 term.
The UN’s two-year budget for 2018 19 amounts to just under 5.4 billion dollars. Germany contributes 6.4 per cent of this budget, that is, approximately 155 million dollars per year, thus making it the fourth-largest financial contributor to the regular budget, behind the US (22 per cent), Japan (9.7 per cent) and China (7.9 per cent). The 28 member states of the European Union provide around 31 per cent of the UN budget.
Each peace mission’s budget is adopted separately. The budget earmarked in July 2018 for the period from July 2018 to June 2019, including a six-month budget for UNAMID, is approximately 6.9 billion dollars. It is expected that up to 7.15 billion dollars will be made available for UN peacekeeping measures for the total 2018/2019 budget cycle, subject to a further decision by the UN member states. Germany currently contributes 6.4 per cent of that amount, that is, around 457 million dollars per year. It is thus also the fourth largest financial contributor in this area. The permanent members of the Security Council pay a higher share because of their special responsibility for peace missions. The largest financial contributors ahead of Germany are the US (28.6 per cent), China (10.3 per cent) and Japan (9.7 per cent).
In addition, Germany pays assessed contributions to the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the mechanism mandated to perform a number of functions previously carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and to specialised agencies and other UN entities. Germany also makes large voluntary contributions to individual UN programmes, for example in the field of humanitarian assistance, and supports the US in the field of crisis prevention.
In 2017, the German Government paid over 3.4 billion euros to the UN system or via the UN system in the form of projects, thus making Germany one of the three largest funders of the United Nations. 

Involvement in UN peace missions

Apart from its financial contribution, Germany primarily provides support to UN peace missions through civilian instruments and by promoting stabilisation mechanisms, diplomatic mediation efforts and post-conflict peacebuilding. It also provides peacekeepers, police officers and qualified civilian personnel, as well as valuable capabilities and training measures. Some 3500 German security forces are currently deployed to international UN, NATO, EU and OSCE peace missions.
Since the beginning of 2017, Germany’s military and police role has focused on the UN peace mission MINUSMA, which provides stabilisation support to Mali and the entire Sahel region. Germany’s engagement is accompanied by its continued participation in EU missions, such as the EU Training Mission in Mali and the civilian mission EUCAP Sahel Mali. Further key areas of Germany’s support include the NATO and EU operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans, maritime missions in the Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa, and the fight against IS in Syria and Iraq. Germany also deploys staff to numerous missions that are under direct UN leadership, such as the missions in Lebanon, the Western Sahara and the Sudan. All of the deployments are conducted within the framework of mutual collective security and in accordance with its rule.

More on UN peace missions and Germany's engagement

Commitment to reform

Reform of the UN Security Council remains a major priority for the German Government. Such reform must ensure that the Council reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st century more accurately. The Security Council’s legitimacy and authority are at risk as long as important regions and major contributors are not adequately represented. Germany therefore actively supports this reform along with its G4 partners Brazil, India and Japan.
Reform endeavours are also under way in other areas. UN Secretary General António Guterres wants to carry out a comprehensive reform agenda to make the UN fit for the challenges of the future. To this end, he has defined priorities that Germany supports. In addition to the coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he wants to enhance conflict prevention and reorganise the UN.

More on the reform of the UN Security Council

Report on Germany's cooperation with the United Nations 2014/2015 (in German) PDF / 1 MB

United Nations Association of Germany

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