Working together for multilateralism and women’s rights!

Demonstrations in Buenos Aires on International Women’s Day 2018

Demonstrations in Buenos Aires on International Women’s Day 2018, © ZUMA Wire

28.03.2019 - Article

Foreign Minister Maas’s Latin America and Caribbean Initiative is bringing the region more to the fore in German foreign policy.

Countering this pressure with a common, positive agenda and ensuring that rules are adhered to are priorities for German foreign policy. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas commented as follows:

The question as to the future of multilateralism and the liberal world order is one which is of course not decided in Europe alone. Much will depend on whether we manage to make common cause with partners worldwide who share our interests and our firm belief in the need for liberal values and multilateral diplomacy.

Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean share our values and interests. They are natural allies when it comes to strengthening multilateralism. And they too must contend with difficult national and international developments. What we have in common with the region is not only the will to play by the rules and to resolve problems together as multilateralists. We also agree, Foreign Minister Maas said, that democracy, the rule of law as well as fair and free trade are the only way forward. Germany wants to focus its foreign policy more on these states, not least in order to take a joint stand against nationalist tendencies.

A new Federal Foreign Office Latin America and Caribbean Initiative will forge closer links between Germany and the region. The aim is to step up cooperation on human rights as well as in the business, scientific 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.

The region will be coming to Berlin: Latin America-Caribbean Conference on 28 May

Foreign Minister Maas and his counterparts from Latin America and the Caribbean, along with business and civil-society representatives, will be discussing our future, looking at issues such as:

what challenges are particularly pressing, how to intensify our exchange and what we can achieve best by joining forces. Alongside public debates and presentations, the Foreign Ministers will also be discussing collaboration on rule-of-law issues, climate change, the green economy, business and research with experts. On 29 May Latin America and the Caribbean will be the partner region at the Digital Revolution Future Forum. Participants will talk with international experts about what the digital revolution means for foreign and security policy.

Women’s Network for gender equity

14 out of the 25 countries with the world’s highest rates of murdered women are in Latin America; 12 women and girls die every day because of their gender. At the same time, resistance to this dreadful state of affairs is on the increase. Gender equity is being talked about more and more in the region. The Federal Foreign Office wants to help build on this. Germany wants to help strengthen the role of women worldwide and, together with German and local partners, will set up a Women’s Network aimed at strengthening and linking women in Latin America, the Caribbean and Germany. Specifically, the Federal Foreign Office plans, among other things, to introduce an award for special commitment to women’s rights and democracy, to implement preventive measures and to promote an intensive exchange on this subject between policymakers, the business community and civil society. The criteria for the award and for project support will be developed by the members of the Network.

Minister of State Michelle Müntefering commented as follows:

We cannot afford to talk about peace, women and security in the 21st century without women sitting at the table as equal partners. They must be actors and shapers of peace and security policy, and not just passive recipients of political decisions.



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