German Statement the 76th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council [item 123], delivered by Michael Geisler, 12 July 2022

12.07.2022 - Speech

Germany fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by Japan on behalf of the Group of Four. I should like to add some comments in my national capacity:

A few weeks ago, a major German weekly published an article with the title “Why Germany should leave the UN”. Rest assured: we do not have any intention to do so. On the contrary: We will continue to try to strengthen the UN wherever and whenever possible.

However, the increasing amount of criticism towards the UN does not leave us cold. Because we care for the UN. It is not only the inability of the Security Council to tackle threats and breaches of peace and security that undermines the credibility of the UN. It is also the UN’s inability to reform itself, which leads to an increasingly negative perception of this organization.

At least, there is some light – maybe not yet at the end, but in the tunnel. We commend all efforts to reform the United Nations and make it more functional and accountable:

We thank you, President, for including the reference to text-based negotiations in your letter. We call on your successor to start from this point.

We thank Denmark and Qatar for acting as co-chairs of IGN and for organizing the “unformal meetings”. The productive spirit encountered in these events, the readiness to think and speak out of the box was refreshing and encouraging. All of this brought a very positive note to our discussions. The more it is regrettable that this fell short of being translated into concrete steps forward. The constructive spirit of these meetings should prevail, and we hope to catch up very soon.

We commend Liechtenstein to bring on track its “veto initiative”, which has meanwhile been filled with life. We are grateful that France and Mexico as well as the ACT group have presented their proposals on how to limit the use of the Veto.

Any organization lacking legitimacy and credibility will, sooner or later, outlive its usefulness and eventually cease to exist. It is therefore imperative to aim for a more equitable representation of member states in the Security Council. First of all this logic applies to African States whose efforts for reform Germany strongly supports.

History shows: We must not take multilateralism for granted. If we fail to adapt this organization to new realities, the support for a rules based international order will dwindle. Power politics will prevail, and we will have to pay a high price for it. We should avoid that at all costs. Rather we should show more readiness to compromise, thereby leaving behind narrow national interests.

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