Statement of Germany in the UN General Assembly Debate, “Responsibility to Protect and the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes Against Humanity”

30.06.2023 - Speech

Statement delivered by Michael Geisler, Political Coordinator.

Germany aligns itself with the EU Statement. We thank the Secretary-General and also Special Advisor Okoth-Obbo for this year’s report and its recommendations.

The responsibility to protect – as reflected in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document – serves as a cornerstone of our individual and collective commitment to prevent and respond to the most heinous international crimes. It demands that we, as members of the international community, recognize our duty to safeguard populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Upholding this responsibility requires efforts encompassing political, humanitarian, and socio-economic dimensions. Germany reaffirms its unwavering commitment to R2P as a holistic concept, resting on its three pillars.

We commend the report’s focus on development, as the power of economic development in fostering stability, resilience, and social cohesion must not be underestimated. To effectively integrate economic development within our efforts to prevent atrocities, we must pursue comprehensive strategies that address the interconnected drivers of violence. This entails promoting good governance, strengthening the rule of law, accountability, protecting human rights, and combating corruption.

By establishing conducive environments for economic growth and promoting social inclusion, we can empower individuals and communities to actively participate in the development process, fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility for peace and stability.

Germany is a leading donor in the field of development cooperation. We are determined to do our part on the path towards achieving the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As co-facilitator of the Summit of the Future, we are firmly committed to help bring along the transformative changes we need to address the challenges of the future. In particular the New Agenda for Peace offers the potential of strengthening prevention, understanding of key risk factors and implementing SDG16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

Germany firmly believes that investing in preventive measures, early warning systems, and robust institutions is not only morally imperative, but also cost-effective in the long run. By strategically allocating resources toward conflict prevention and sustainable development, we can mitigate the human and economic costs associated with responding to crises. We must, therefore, encourage greater international cooperation, knowledge sharing, and capacity building to enhance our collective ability to prevent, detect, and respond to the signs of impending atrocities.

Germany supports the work of the Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect. As early warnings are key to prevention, we strongly encourage the Office of Genocide Prevention and R2P to issue statements on specific country situations and to provide thematic briefings and country analysis at appropriate meetings. We believe that the systematic sharing of information and analysis with the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council can contribute significantly to meaningful prevention.

Germany is deeply concerned about grave situations unfolding in several countries, with particular attention to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the situation in Sudan. We call on the international community to intensify efforts to protect the populations affected by atrocities and to work towards sustainable solutions that ensure accountability.

Mr. President, Women and girls, in all their diversity, are disproportionately affected by mass atrocities, facing specific forms of violence, such as sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, and systematic discrimination. It is imperative that our response to atrocities is centered on the needs, rights and agency of victims and survivors, particularly women and girls, ensuring their protection, empowerment, and meaningful participation in all stages of prevention, response, and rebuilding.

Germany stresses the importance of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda in addressing the gendered dimensions of conflicts and atrocity crimes. By integrating the WPS principles into our policies and programs, Germany aims to ensure that the rights, needs and perspectives of women and girls are effectively addressed, and their voices are heard and respected. We also need to be mindful to include young people as reflected in Youth Peace Security Agenda.

In conclusion, let us recommit ourselves to the three pillars of responsibility to protect, genocide and atrocity prevention, and sustainable economic development. By integrating these interconnected strands, we can foster a world where every individual can live in peace, dignity, and prosperity. Germany stands ready to collaborate with all member states, the United Nations, and relevant stakeholders to translate these aspirations into concrete actions.

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