In a video podcast on www.diplo.de, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement to mark the start of Germany’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council on 1 January 2011:
“The states of the world voted Germany on to the UN Security Council for the next two years by a large majority. This excellent election result is a gesture of great faith in our country. We intend to live up to the trust placed in us.
The UN Security Council is the world’s most important forum for peace and security. During our term as a non-permanent member we intend to help ensure that the Security Council shoulders this responsibility effectively.
That is good for the United Nations and it is good for Germany. As the third largest contributor, we are keen to ensure that the United Nations is strong and effective. The international community can only master the key challenges facing humanity, such as climate protection or global disarmament, if it tackles them together. As an exporting and trading nation, stability and peace in the world are especially important for Germany.
Afghanistan is high on the Security Council agenda. The United Nations is the principal international point of contact when it comes to civilian reconstruction and national reconciliation. Afghanistan needs a political solution. We have to resolutely work towards reaching this goal.
Another key issue is the engagement of the United Nations in Africa and conflict resolution on that continent. Most UN peace missions are in Africa. The Security Council will address the forthcoming referendum in the Sudan. As in other African conflicts, the United Nations must make an effective contribution towards peace and stability there.
The protection of children in armed conflicts is especially important to us. We will therefore actively work in the Security Council to improve the international system to protect children in wars and conflicts.
During the next two years, we will also support the efforts to reform the Security Council. Africa, Latin America and Asia are woefully underrepresented on the Security Council. We need a Security Council whose composition reflects the world in the 21st century. Our long-term goal remains a joint Security Council seat for the European Union. Until that objective is reached, Germany is prepared to assume more responsibility in the United Nations Security Council, also on a permanent basis