UN Security Council – remembering the Second World War

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the virtual meeting of the UN Security Council

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the virtual meeting of the UN Security Council, © Thomas Koehler/photothek.de

08.05.2020 - Article

Examining the past and learning lessons from it for the future – the United Nations Security Council is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War today.

The Second World War ended 75 years ago today. Following six years of war, over 60 million deaths and the most terrible crime ever committed in the history of humankind – the murder of almost all European Jews – it was hard to believe in May 1945 that peace would prevail, as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said today in the virtual meeting of the UN Security Council held to mark the anniversary.

As nationalism can lead to destruction, we must support a multilateral world order

Thanks to brave men and women, Maas continued, people refused to give up hope in mankind in 1945. Instead, he said, the experience of the previous years led people to a crucial realisation, namely that nationalism can lead to destruction. This realisation makes it incumbent upon us to support a rules-based international world order.

The United Nations is a cornerstone of this order. That was the case immediately after the war and it remains the case today. Current threats to peace and security were thus also a key topic on the agenda of today’s meeting. From the Sahel region and Libya to Afghanistan, the United Nations is working to resolve crises and restore peace.

UN call for a humanitarian ceasefire

Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic also poses new challenges to the United Nations. In view of COVID-19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a global ceasefire. Germany supports this call and is working to ensure that the UN Security Council will address this topic.

Informal session of the Security Council

Today’s session of the UN Security Council was an Arria formula meeting, an open and informal format at which not only Security Council members, but also other organisations, individuals and NGOs are able to speak. In addition to the 15 members, over 40 foreign ministers attended the session, which was chaired by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu. Estonia holds the Presidency of the Security Council in May.


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