Six initiatives for multilateralism

#MultilateralismMatters: Solving global problems together

#MultilateralismMatters: Solving global problems together, © Photothek

26.09.2019 - Article

The Alliance for Multilateralism is growing – and bearing fruit. At the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Maas and like-minded states launched six concrete initiatives for tackling global challenges together.

Alliance for Multilateralism: Over 50 Foreign Ministers took part in New York
Alliance for Multilateralism: Over 50 Foreign Ministers took part in New York© Photothek

Foreign Minister Maas firmly believes that no-one who wants to find sustainable solutions to conflicts and crises or solid responses to global challenges can do so alone. This is the idea at the heart of sustainable foreign policy. Together with a supraregional network of like-minded states, Germany wants to preserve and further develop the rules-based international order.

At this year’s General Assembly, too, Germany is issuing a signal for multilateralism: representatives of over fifty countries are meeting at the United Nations at the invitation of Germany, France, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Ghana and Singapore. Together they want to discuss the further evolution of multilateral structures and institutions and to present concrete answers to international challenges.

Six initiatives geared to the most pressing foreign-policy issues will be presented at the event in New York:

1. Humanitarian Call for Action

Humanitarian assistance is urgently required in many conflicts around the world. Often, though, it fails to get through to those in need, or the humanitarian aid workers become targets. With the Humanitarian Call for Action (CfA), France and Germany want to suggest concrete measures and best practices to strengthen and better implement international humanitarian law worldwide. The CfA shows states concrete ways in which they can help humanitarian organisations to provide needs-based aid.

2. Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

Cyberspace is not a space outside the law. Its openness and its capacity to connect people need to be protected. That is why the Federal Government actively backs the establishment of international rules in cyber policy. The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace aims to introduce binding rules for internet behaviour. It will take up elements from various existing processes to promote stability and peace in cyberspace.

3. International Partnership for Information and Democracy

The International Partnership for Information and Democracy declaration sets forth goals and principles for guaranteeing free, pluralistic, quality reporting despite the changes resulting from new digital communication forms. For example, it opposes the manipulative use of fake news to undermine democracy. Among other things, the signatory states undertake to defend freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, as well as to protect journalists.

4. Joint Position of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security

Climate and security is one of the priorities of Germany’s Security Council membership. With the Joint Position, Germany and the other members of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security in the United Nations want to highlight the fact that climate change is posing entirely new challenges for foreign and security policy. That is why it is important for the UN to consider the matter regularly. The Joint Position calls for regular monitoring by the UN.

5. Equality at the Center Initiative

Women’s rights are human rights, and Germany is committed to protecting them across the world. The initiative “Gender at the Center – Putting gender equality at the centre of education sector planning”, developed in the G7 framework in cooperation with UNESCO, aims to give more girls in sub-Saharan Africa access to good education. Because despite global progress, 130 million girls still do not enjoy education, their human right. This initiative takes a new approach: in cooperation with Education Ministries, the focus will shift more to girls.

6. 11 Principles on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

New international rules are needed for the weapons systems of the future. In this context, Germany is especially committed to the prohibition of lethal autonomous weapons systems, so-called “killer robots”. The eleven principles drawn up with France in the framework of the UN Weapons Convention offer states, for the first time, concrete guidance on killer robots.

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