Speech by Foreign Minister Steinmeier in New York at the opening event for Germany's candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2019/20

21.09.2016 - Speech

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is great to see so many of you here. Welcome to all of you!

You have all come here to learn more about German foreign policy, about Germany. I appreciate that. But maybe we can start by talking about what you already know about Germany.

Germans love rules, that’s what I always hear. And it is true - there are some clear rules that apply to our country:

Our cars are fast – but not always cheap.

We are a land of thinkers and poets – but we also come up with crude words like “Hubschrauberlandeplatzverordnung” and “Steuervergünstigungsabbaugesetz”.

We are always punctual – but only if that means we can beat our British friends to the deckchairs by the pool.

We are always calm and in control – but there is one thing you should never try to do in Germany: never cross the street when the traffic lights are red! That’s when German tempers will flare up!

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every country has its traditions, its historic reference points, its rules and common understandings.

But it is here at the United Nations that we find our global reference points. The United Nations provide us with a global framework of rules and instruments to address our common challenges – together. And I believe that in these crisis-ridden times, this international cooperation is more important than ever.

That’s why I am glad to officially launch our candidacy for a non-permanent seat to the UN Security Council for 2019 and 20.

We want to stand up to face up to our responsibility and help work towards PEACE and JUSTICE in these turbulent times!

Germany is one of the most active nations, when it comes to conflict resolution, stabilization and post-conflict engagement. Our country is one of the biggest humanitarian donors worldwide.

But I believe that we must also look beyond crisis management if want to succeed at making this world a fairer and more peaceful place. Willy Brandt once said: “There is no peace without justice. And no justice without peace.”

That’s why Germany is strongly committed to the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Injustice is a root cause of many of the conflicts and crises we are dealing with today. That’s why Germany is placing such great emphasis on strengthening the rule of law and on fighting the problems of inequality, poverty or the violation of human rights.

We want to build on our strength and expertise in these fields!

And we believe that we will only make headway in this endeavor if we act together, in PARTNERSHIP.

We strongly believe that we must strengthen our multilateral structures, that we need more dialogue and more cooperation, as we work towards peace and justice in these times of crisis. This is why Germany took on the chairmanship of the OSCE this year. And that is the spirit in which we will assume our G20 Presidency next year.

We must join forces.

And I believe that as we do so, we should not be afraid to pursue new paths, to test new ideas, new technologies!

INNOVATION is what we need - for instance, to fight and mitigate the consequences of climate change.

PEACE. JUSTICE. INNOVATION. PARTNERSHIP. These are the key elements of our campaign.

I invite you to meet our five special envoys who stand ready to answer all questions you may have regarding our campaign. They will travel the world in the next few months. But they are also here tonight and at your disposal!

Allow me to make one last point: It concerns innovation – a key element not only of our campaign. But also of the music that you will listen to tonight! Eva, Mirna, Benny, Fritz, Sydney and Lorenz are six talented musicians who excel at blending the old with the new. They will bring Berlin’s Electroswing here to the UN headquarters in just a few moments!

Thank you and enjoy the evening!

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