Global problems require global solutions

Sep 20, 2017

Statue "Non-Violence" (Gewaltlosigkeit) von Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd vor dem UN-Hauptquartier in New York Enlarge image (© picture alliance / dpa)

There is more contact between countries in New York this week than anywhere else in the world. As the member states of the United Nations (UN) convene for their 72nd General Assembly this week, the focus is on international crises and conflicts. The members will strive to achieve solutions at a large number of bilateral talks and events in New York. Despite the general election in Germany on 24 September, the German Foreign Minister must not miss the General Assembly.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel travelled to New York on Tuesday evening (19 September). It is his first General Assembly. Prior to his departure, he expressed great expectations of the coming days: “When political decision‑makers from all over the world convene, this is always an opportunity to strive for solutions and to make progress in talks and meetings.”

Underlining Germany’s support for disarmament

In his speech to the General Assembly, which is scheduled for Thursday afternoon (21 September), Gabriel plans to underline Germany’s support for greater disarmament rather than rearmament.

"I firmly believe that it falls to Germany in particular to promote détente, political dialogue, diplomatic solutions, solidarity, cooperation and peaceful exchange, both between East and West and North and South!"

More important than ever

The Foreign Minister will call for concrete initiatives on nuclear disarmament at several appointments, including the meeting of the Non‑Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) and on the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty (CTBT), and in smaller meetings, for example on the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The smouldering conflict on North Korea shows that this debate has acquired new relevance. During General Assembly week, Gabriel will therefore hold talks with colleagues from North Korea’s neighbouring countries on how the tense situation can be de‑escalated by political means. The conflict on eastern Ukraine and the crisis in Qatar are further reasons for Gabriel to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from all over the world.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel with UN Secretary-General António Guterres Enlarge image Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel with UN Secretary-General António Guterres (© Photothek) A strong United Nations with Germany in the Security Council

General Assembly week in New York is the best place for all those involved to discuss international conflicts. Foreign Minister Gabriel said: “We certainly need the United Nations to play a greater role – not a smaller one. In this era of crises and conflicts, the values of the Charter of the United Nations and cooperation between its members under the auspices of the United Nations are perhaps more important than ever.” It is thus vital to make the United Nations more effective on a permanent basis. To this end, Gabriel will attend high‑level meetings on the comprehensive reforms planned by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres. Germany supports the Secretary‑General’s endeavours and urges reform of the Security Council in particular.

Find out more:

Germany in the United Nations

On a mission for peace: Germany as a partner in UN peacekeeping

Germany’s candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2019/20

Statement by Foreign Minister Gabriel prior to his departure for New York

© Auswärtiges Amt