Looking Back at 2022: Defending the UN Charter

German flag in front of the UN Secretariat building in New York

German flag in front of the UN Secretariat building in New York, © German Mission to the UN

30.12.2022 - Article

In 2022, the German Mission to the United Nations, led by Ambassador Antje Leendertse, strived to hold up high the principles and values of the UN Charter in the face of Russia's aggressions against Ukraine. We intensified partnerships and solidarity to counter the dramatic global impact.

Handshake between German Chancellor Scholz and UN Secretary-General Guterres 
Handshake between German Chancellor Scholz and UN Secretary-General Guterres© Bundesregierung / Federal Government of Germany

During the High-Level Opening of UNGA77 in September 2022, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to New York to give a speech , in which he underlined Germany's committment to a rules-based multilateral order:

The return of imperialism is not only a disaster for Europe. It is also a disaster for our global peaceful order, which is the antithesis of imperialism and neo-colonialism. That’s why it was so important that, here in this room, 141 countries categorically condemned Russia’s war of occupation. ...We owe our peoples a global order that allows them to live in peace, which protects their rights and opens up opportunities for education, health and development for them. Such an order doesn’t come about by itself. Defending, further developing and strengthening it – that is our task as the United Nations. Germany extends the hand of cooperation to all of you in this endeavour.

The Chancellor renewed Germany’s readiness for a candidacy to the UN Security Council 2027/28.

As G7 Presidency during 2022, Germany strived to boost UN goals and align policies.

G7 meeting under German Presidency in the margings of the UNGA77 High Level Week (2022)
G7 meeting under German Presidency in the margings of the UNGA77 High Level Week (2022)© Photoke.net

On March 1st, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, in a speech before the UN General Assembly, called on the international community to stand with Ukraine and unite for peace. 141 States voted YES on the landmark resolution condamning Russia's blatant breach of the UN Charter.

Russia’s war marks a new reality. It requires each and every one of us to take a firm and responsible decision, and to take a side. My country is stepping up its support to Ukraine with medicine, food, humanitarian goods and shelter to refugees. So are many of us here today. And I applaud you for it. ...

That’s why I urge all of you: to unite for peace and to vote yes to the resolution before us. … Now, we all have to choose. Between peace and aggression. Between justice and the will of the strongest. Between taking action and turning a blind eye.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaking at the UN General Assembly
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaking at the UN General Assembly© Florian Gaertner/photothek.de

In order to help mitigate the terrible impact of the Russian war on global food security, Germany has fully engaged in shaping a fast political and humanitarian response. This included hosting the Berlin Food Security Ministerial on 24 June, driving forward the Global Alliance for Food Security together with the World Bank and the G7, the participation of Chancellor Scholz and FM Baerbock at the Food Security Summit in New York (21 September) resp. the Food Security Ministerial at the UN (18 May). Under German stewardship the G7 committed a total of USD 14 billion to food security at the Elmau Summit.

As one element in ramping-up its humanitarian aid, Germany donated 15 million euros to the World Food Programme (WFP) to enable the logistics for delivering grain from Ukraine to Ethiopia and contributed another 15 million euros to the WFP for delivery of grain to Sudan as part of Ukraine’s outreach initiative “Grain from Ukraine”.

people in a small shop
store shelves are remaining empty, prices are shooting up, many people can no longer afford to buy essential staples, and emergency rations are dwindling© WFP

In a year of soaring humanitarian needs, Germany steadily stepped up its humanitarian aid in 2022, resulting in a record sum of 3.2 billion euros (3,43 USD) and making Germany the #2 in global humanitarian aid. A large part of these funds have been deployed through UN structures, for example:

  • 1.7 billion euros to World Food Programme.
  • 226 million euros to UNICEF, mostly as unearmarked funding.
  • 145 million euros pledged to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund CERF, making Germany the largest CERF donor in 2022.

With a look at the dire situation in Ukraine, Germany has – since February 2022 – provided a total of more than 600 million euros for humanitarian aid and for the short-term rehabilitation of energy infrastructure. Added to this are donations in kind, such as generators and transformers.

Germany has kept its strong role as one of the principal financial contributors to the UN system. In terms of overall contributions (assessed + voluntary) Germany is leading, second only to the US. According to calculations of the UN Secretariat from this autumn 2022 for the financial year 2021 (= latest available consolidated figures) these contributions to the entire UN system amounted to 6,659,318,588 USD.

With her opening statement at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock held
up the flag of nuclear disarmament (1 August). As active member of the Stockholm
and the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative Germany developed concrete
proposals to strengthen the NPT, reflected in the Chair’s draft for an outcome document
(draft eventually blocked by Russia alone).

Logo of the Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy
Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy© AA

Throughout the Year, Germany has taken a resolute role as advocate for Feminist Foreign and Development Policy, working to enlarge the circle of partners also within the UN, for example as co-host to the strongly attended UNGA HLW side event “Putting Feminism into Practice” in the German House (22 September).

The work of the Peacebuilding Commission, where Germany regularly and actively participates, and engaging for conflict prevention remain at the top of our agenda. In 2022 Germany contributed record 45 million euros to the Peacebuilding Fund, thus giving 25% of the PBF as largest donor.

Germany continued its role as (co-)facilitator for various UNGA resolutions, not least for the UNGA resolution on Afghanistan, which was successfully adopted on 10 November (statement by Amb. Leendertse). Also, Germany co-facilitated together with Israel a UNGA resolution on fighting Holocaust denial, adopted on 20 January (statement by Amb. Leendertse).

United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva / Switzerland
Human Rights Council© picture alliance

Reacting to the repression against protesters in Iran and blatant human rights violations, Germany together with Iceland requested a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (24 November), which adopted the mandate for a UN fact-finding mission to provide an impartial assessment and ensure accountability.

The UN General Assembly (10 October) elected Germany for a second consecutive term as member of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva 2023-2025.

Top of page