Statement by Ambassador Leendertse at the third thematic consultation on “Our Common Agenda”, UN General Assembly on February 21st, 2022

Logo of the report and ensuing consultation process Our Common Agenda by Secretary-General Guterres

Logo: Our Common Agenda, © UN

21.02.2022 - Speech

Title of the consultation organized by the President of the General Assembly:
“Frameworks for a peaceful world – promoting peace, international law and digital cooperation”

Please note: While restricting the oral intervention in the UNGA Hall- due to time restrictions- to the segment on the Global Digital Compact (see passage below depicted in bold), Germany handed in a more comprehensive written Statement to the offical records of the meeting:

Germany fully supports the “New Agenda for Peace”. We believe that preventing fragility, conflict and violence is key to reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development.

We support the Secretary General’s call for a stronger focus on conflict prevention as an inherent part of our peacebuilding efforts. Therefore, conflict prevention should be addressed more prominently in the Peacebuilding Commission.

We believe that women should participate fully, equally and meaningfully in all phases of any peacebuilding process, in order to make them inclusive and sustainable.

Sustained and predictable financing for these efforts is crucial. We need more voluntary contributions from a broader range of donors, and we should seriously explore all available options of financing. We might also have to move from a traditional grants-based approach to a more sustainable investment-based approach, together with other relevant actors, such as International Financial Institutions and private investors.

A stronger focus on conflict prevention must entail an active engagement from the whole of UN in promoting and protecting human rights. The “Call to Action on human rights,” which the Secretary General launched in 2020, has at its core an appeal to work towards conflict prevention. We acknowledge the implementation process under way and call for accelerated mainstreaming efforts to link human rights protection and conflict prevention on the ground.

For Germany, international law is a fundamental cornerstone of our foreign policy. We consider it the DNA of a just and legitimate international order.

In order to ensure continued authority and legitimacy, international law must respond to new challenges. Germany is committed to contributing to the development of international law.

Germany has also been dedicated to peaceful conflict resolution through legal means. We are a staunch supporter of the International Court of Justice and international jurisprudence in general.

Germany will continue to fight impunity as well as violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.

Germany fully supports the elaboration of a Global Digital Compact.

Such a Compact should reaffirm our common principles and commitments for an open, free, inclusive, safe and right-based digital future, which allows borderless communication and drives innovation, while leaving no one behind. Germany is looking forward to a comprehensive and inclusive multi-stakeholder process.

The Compact should be fully in line with existing human rights standards. The same rights that apply offline must apply online.

Our initiative on “Privacy in the digital age” – we present this resolution together with Brazil in the GA and at the HRC – can deliver important benchmarks that can be channeled into a Global Digital Compact.

The responsible and human rights-based use of Artificial Intelligence is key for our societies and economies. Germany adopted its AI strategy on these fundamental principles and is a founding member of the Global Partnership on AI.

Germany furthermore sees the concept of Digital Public Goods and Infrastructure as a crucial element within the GDC process.

I would also like to highlight the Charter for Digital Public Goods, co-led by a variety of partners including Germany.

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