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76th General Assembly of the United Nations: The focus in New York

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On 20 September Foreign Minister Maas will fly to New York to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly., © Thomas Koehler/photothek.net

20.09.2021 - Article

On 20 September Foreign Minister Maas will fly to New York to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Foreign Minister’s talks will focus mainly on assistance for the people in Afghanistan, progress in Libya and strengthening the multilateral system. Central issues will include climate change mitigation, disarmament and health. Improving global access to vaccines is one priority of the United Nations General Assembly, which is convening this year under the motto “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations”.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Maas will participate in the opening event of this year’s General Assembly. Afterwards, discussion will centre on humanitarian assistance for the people in Afghanistan with a particular focus on the protection of human and women’s rights. The situation in Afghanistan following the seizure of power by the Taliban and its impact on the states in the region will be the topic of further meetings of the Foreign Minister during his time at the United Nations in New York.

On Wednesday, Maas will convene with his French and Italian counterparts and representatives of the United Nations as well as of other countries and organisations involved in the so-called Berlin Process for a hybrid meeting on Libya. The meeting participants will discuss how to strengthen the political process in Libya as the country moves along the path towards free, fair and inclusive elections at the end of the year. Important prerequisites for this include the withdrawal of all forces, mercenaries and soldiers and compliance with the ceasefire.

For Germany, participation in the plenary assembly is always also an opportunity to appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons as well as for disarmament and non-proliferation. In the context of its engagement in the area of arms control, Germany co-chaired the Article XIV Conference of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) group for two years together with Algeria and is now handing over responsibility to Italy and South Africa, which are next in line.

The Alliance for Multilateralism and central topics of international cooperation will be the main focus of the third day of the trip: combating the pandemic and climate change mitigation are huge challenges that no country in the world can resolve singlehandedly. Through the Alliance, which he himself launched, Foreign Minister Maas is working to promote greater international cooperation on the central questions of our times.

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