In an age of “America First”, values such as cooperation, respect for international law, and free trade are under pressure worldwide. As a result, Foreign Minister Maas wants to build up a new network of countries that defend liberal values. “The more that others focus on the law of the strong, the more energetically we must counter them with the multilateral order,” Maas said in his speech at the Ambassadors Conference in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on Monday (27 August).
Preventing the world order from becoming a “jungle”
“We Germans can have no interest in a ‘jungle growing back’ in the world order,” Maas told the German Ambassadors at the conference. He is thus planning to set up a group of international team players, that is, an “alliance of multilateralists” that focus on cooperation, binding rules and the strength of the law.
Pooling strengths for the United Nations
Foreign Minister Maas firmly believes that those who think they can resolve problems such as the global refugee crisis on their own are doomed to failure. That is why the new group of countries should pool its strengths to ensure that the global community resolves problems by working together and that organisations such as the United Nations remain strong.
Talks with Canada, Japan and South Korea
Foreign Minister Maas has already agreed the first steps for an “alliance of multilateralists” with Canada, Japan and South Korea. “The door is wide open – particularly for the United States,” he said. However, there are currently no plans to set up a new organisation or fixed talks format. Instead, the main aim is that the group will support existing institutions such as the United Nations.
Heiko Maas opened this year’s Ambassadors Conference at the Federal Foreign Office together with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. We Germans in particular could have no interest in a “jungle growing back in the world order”, said Maas.