Foreign Minister Baerbock prior to her departure for Rio and New York

20.02.2024 - Press release

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued the following statement today (20 February) prior to her departure for the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Rio de Janeiro and her subsequent visit to New York to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine:

Brazil has put the fight against inequality firmly on the agenda during its G20 Presidency. In times when acute crises are keeping us on alert day after day, it could not be more urgent to bring the major global issues – the fight against poverty, injustice and the climate crisis – from the back pages of newspapers to the front page. The COVID‑19 pandemic, increasingly extreme climatic events, and Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine with all of its global repercussions have severely exacerbated inequalities around the world. Every sixth child lives in extreme poverty. The G20 was founded in the confident belief that joint solutions are possible when we stand together and join forces.

This means, among other things, finally updating fossilised structures and making our international institutions fit for a world in transformation. Too often, these institutions – such as the UN Security Council or the World Bank – still reflect a long-past era, while too many countries are crushed under the burden of debt, and the climate crisis threatens the existence of entire states. Listening more carefully and showing the necessary respect for the concerns of our partners in Latin America, Asia and Africa must translate into concrete action. The recent inclusion of climate action in the World Bank’s mandate is an important and overdue step, as is the fact that the African Union now finally has a seat at the G20 table.

We counter the contemptible behaviour of actors such as the Russian Government, who care about nothing other than the law of the strong, with our humanity and our commitment to international law. Because the whole world stands to gain from everyone playing by the rules that we have agreed on together. Putin continues to inflict immeasurable suffering on Ukraine, quite literally holding a gun to the heads of its people. If he thought that the world would at some point, after two years, forget who bears responsibility for the war in Ukraine and its drastic global repercussions, he was wrong. We will never abandon the fundamental principles of the United Nations, and we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine – for as long as it takes, until its people can once again live in peace and freedom.


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