Germany – the fourth-largest financial contributor
In the course of its 47-year membership, Germany’s multifaceted commitment to the United Nations (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 2019-20.
The UN’s budget for 2021 amounts to just under 3.208 billion US dollars. Germany contributes 6.09 percent of this budget, or approximately 176 million US dollars, making it the fourth-largest financial contributor to the regular budget, behind the US (22 percent), China (12 percent) and Japan (8.56 percent).
Each peace mission’s budget is adopted separately. The budget earmarked for peace missions for the period from July 2021 to June 2022 is approximately 6.38 billion US dollars. Germany currently contributes 6.09 percent of that amount, that is, around 400 million US dollars. 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 (27.89 percent, capped nationally by the US at 25 percent), China (15.21 percent) and Japan (8.56 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, for example in the field of humanitarian assistance, and supports the US in the field of crisis prevention.
In 2020, the German Government paid a total of more than 5.2 billion euro to the UN system as a whole or via the UN system in the form of projects, thus making Germany the second-largest funder of the United Nations.
Involvement in UN missions
Germany’s engagement in UN missions is an integral part of German foreign and peace policy. Apart from its financial contribution, Germany primarily provides support to UN missions through civilian instruments and by promoting stabilisation mechanisms, diplomatic mediation efforts and post-conflict peacebuilding. It also provides soldiers, police officers and qualified civilian personnel, as well as valuable capabilities and training measures. Around 3500 Germans are currently deployed to UN, NATO, EU and OSCE missions.
Since the beginning of 2017, Germany’s military and police role in the UN 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. A further focus of German engagement is the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force in Lebanon, whose command passed to Germany at the beginning of 2021. Germany is also involved in the UN missions in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Sudan (UNITAMS), the western Sahara (MINURSO), Somalia (UNSOM) 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 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.