In the course of its 49-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 United Nations Security Council five times, most recently in 2019-2020.
The UN’s budget for 2022 amounts to just under 3.25 billion US dollars. Germany contributes 6.11 percent of this budget, or approximately 198 million US dollars, making it the fourth-largest financial contributor to the regular budget, behind the US (22 percent), China (15.25 percent) and Japan (8.03 percent).
The budgets for the individual peace mission are adopted separately. The budget envisaged for the 11 peace missions for the period from July 2022 to June 2023 is approximately 6.442 billion US dollars. Germany currently contributes 6.11 percent of that amount, making it the fourth‑largest financial contributor in this area, too. 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 (26,95 percent, although actually capped nationally by the US at 25 percent), China (18.69 percent) and Japan (8.033 percent).
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 and instruments, for example in the field of humanitarian assistance or peacebuilding, and supports the UN in the field of crisis prevention.
In 2021, the German Government paid a total of more than 5.3 billion euro either directly to the United Nations system or to the UN system in the form of projects, thus making Germany one of the three largest funders of the United Nations.
Engagement in United Nations missions
Germany’s engagement in United Nations missions is an integral part of German foreign and peace policy. Apart from its contributions in the form of financing, personnel and materials, Germany primarily provides support to UN missions through civilian instruments and by promoting stabilisation mechanisms, diplomatic mediation efforts and post-conflict peacebuilding. Across the board Germany provides soldiers, police officers and qualified civilian personnel, as well as valuable capabilities and training measures. Around 1300 Germans are currently deployed to missions of the United Nations.
Since early 2017 Germany’s military and police role in the United Nations has focused on the MINUSMA peace mission, which provides stabilisation support to Mali and the entire Sahel region. A further focus of German engagement is the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force in Lebanon, which Germany has been leading since the start of 2021. Germany is also involved in the missions in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Sudan (UNITAMS), the western Sahara (MINURSO) and Kosovo (UNMIK). All of the deployments are conducted within the framework of mutual collective security and in accordance with its rules.
Commitment to reform
Reform of the United Nations 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. 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 underway in other areas. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres wants to use a comprehensive reform agenda (Our Common Agenda) to make the UN fit for the challenges of the future. He has defined priorities that Germany supports. In addition to the coherent implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Guterres intends to strengthen conflict prevention and reorganise the UN peace and security architecture.