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Foreign Minister Maas prior to his departure for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly

24.09.2018 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (24 September) prior to his departure for New York:

The United Nations is at the heart of the multilateral system. We are living at a time when we need more international order, more reliability, more confidence in our common rules. The United Nations is as strong, just and effective as its members make it. Germany intends to work to promote a strong UN organisation.

With regard to our Security Council membership, that means specifically that as a member of the Security Council, Germany will focus particularly on finding multilateral solutions. We want to place our membership on a European footing and encourage the European members to act in unison and work effectively in the Security Council.

Prevention is key: we don’t always want to start dealing with a conflict when a crisis has already erupted. That is too late, and the path to finding a solution to the crisis is then long and arduous.

Our priority issues reflect this approach: climate and security, for instance. Climate change is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. We are increasingly seeing how the consequences of climate change exacerbate existing conflicts and have a destabilising impact on countries and entire regions. We therefore want to work to mitigate climate risks as part of a preventive and stabilising foreign policy. To this end it is important to develop a toolkit so that we are in a position to respond as promptly as possible when we see that a potential crisis is looming. This requires more comprehensive information and better risk analysis, also within the Security Council.

In addition, we want to anchor other issues more firmly on the Security Council agenda than has been the case to date, issues where the role they play as catalysts for conflict is often overlooked. These include health and security, and human rights and security. Another of our priorities will be to further strengthen the role of women in the area of peace and security. Last but not least, we are working with France to improve protection for humanitarian personnel saving lives amid conflicts.

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