Statement of Germany in the UN Security Council Open Debate, “New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism” on 14 December 2022

14.12.2022 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse

I would like to thank India for organizing today’s meeting on this highly relevant topic, which is very close to our heart.

Germany strongly believes that multilateralism is the best framework to guarantee peace and stability. It is the best tool to discuss and find joint solutions for challenges to mankind and to settle disputes peacefully. We take pride in investing not only money, but also significant personnel and political capacities into multilateral organizations.

However, we cannot ignore that multilateralism is under pressure. And we do not deny that there are questions that we need to answer urgently. Does multilateralism deliver? How do we adapt the existing international organizations to an ever-changing world? And how do we deal with member states like Russia, who as a permanent member of this council bears a “special responsibility”, but flagrantly violates the UN Charter?

All of this calls for reform.

First, on peace and security, we see a reform of this Council as long overdue. It is untenable that one of the UN‘s central pillars mirrors the geopolitical situation 80 years ago, and is not representative of the present. A future Security Council should include additional permanent and non-permanent members. This is our shared G4 position together with Brazil, India, and Japan. It is also clear that Africa must be permanently represented in this Council.

This year’s General Debate has shown that a large majority of UN Member States is in favor of reforming the Security Council. However, a formal negotiation process – as is practiced almost everywhere else in the United Nations – is still not in place. This must be changed, and it is urgent that we start negotiating a text now.

We also consider the veto an instrument prone to abuse and urge Council members to restrict its use as much as possible.

Second, many global commons are under immense pressure – climate, global health, etc. SDG implementation is stalling. Food and energy security are strained, humanitarian needs are ever growing. Technology outpaces regulation, threatening cohesion of societies.

The Secretary-General, in putting forward his “Common Agenda”, has outlined his vision on how to shape a peaceful, just, and sustainable future. By doing so, he has mobilized the wider UN membership. We agree with the Secretary-General, and we will support him.

Mahatma Gandi said: “The future depends on what you do today.”

We expect the “Summit of the Future” in 2024 to be a crucial milestone to advance multilateralism and boost the SDGs. Having the honor of co-facilitating this process together with my Colleague Ambassador Neville Melvin Gertze from Namibia, I want to assure everyone that the two of us will conduct this process in an open, inclusive, transparent, and consultative manner. I would like to ask all Member States to contribute in good faith.

Much-needed reforms and adjustments are within reach – if there is a collective political will. Now is the time to embark on UN reform. Let us make this our New Year’s resolution for 2023. There is no time to lose.

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