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UN Secretary-General in Berlin

Focus on international crises

Germany has enormous respect for the difficult but incredibly important work of the UN Secretary-General, said Chancellor Angela Merkel, when she met with António Guterres on Tuesday at the Federal Chancellery. Their talks focused on the situation in Syria and Libya, the Sustainable Development Goals and climate action.

Chancellor Angela Merkel in discussion with UN Secretary-General António Guterres Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General António Guterres: Germany's UN engagement is strong Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

Chancellor Angela Merkel reported that one point on their agenda was Syria. "Germany would like to be involved in the constitutional convention," she said in a statement before her meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. She also explained that political changes are needed in Syria as well as work on a new constitution. This is the only way to put in place conditions that will allow refugees to return home, she said. Today this is not yet possible.

A contribution to stabilising Libya

The Libyan peace process is also vitally important, said Angela Merkel. It is hoped that high-level talks with civil servants at the Federal Foreign Office will contribute to stabilising the country. This is important in order to stem terrorism in the Sahel states.

The Chancellor also pointed to the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and to climate action, which were on the agenda for her talks with the UN Secretary-General.

Germany’s engagement within the United Nations

Germany is actively engaged in the United Nations, in political and financial terms, and with German nationals in important positions. This is in addition to Germany’s humanitarian engagement. It is the fourth largest contributor to both the regular budget and the peacekeeping budget and the second largest donor to official development assistance. And Germany is now one of the main western providers of troops for UN peace missions.

193 nations meet at the UN General Assembly in New York. Cooperation builds on certain principles and values that are shared by all member states. The United Nations Charter lays down the rules that govern cooperation among member states, making it a major foundation of today’s multilateral cooperation. With the overarching goal of underpinning world peace and international security, member states undertake "To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character" (Article 1(3) Charter of the United Nations).

Nov 26, 2019