The UN Security Council has many functions – in the case of Germany and the Dominican Republic it has greatly revitalised political relations. Foreign Minister Maas praised the two countries’ commitment to climate and security during their current membership. While the Dominican Republic held the presidency in January, Miguel Vargas chaired a Security Council meeting on this issue, which was also attended by Heiko Maas. He stressed:
We both firmly believe that climate-related risks are real and that they are global. They therefore belong at the top of the Security Council agenda. We undertook to ensure just that together with the Dominican Republic a great success.
Furthermore, the two countries, along with other states, are active members of the UN Group of Friends on Climate and Security founded by Germany, and Heiko Maas will be hosting a high level Berlin Conference on Climate and Security on 4 June.
Important common ground
Germany has much in common with the Dominican Republic and its neighbouring states in the Caribbean and Latin America: not only the will to play by the rules and to resolve problems together as multilateralists. For, Foreign Minister Maas said, we also agree that democracy, the rule of law as well as fair and free trade are the only way forward. Germany wants to place a greater focus on these states in its foreign policy. A new Federal Foreign Office Latin America and Caribbean Initiative will forge closer links between Germany and the region. The aim is to foster cooperation in the business, academic and cultural spheres. “We want to expand joint networks, to learn from each other and to work together in the international arena to promote our shared values,” said Heiko Maas. In this, the Dominican Republic is an important like minded partner, not only in the key area of climate and security.