Germany: Member of the United Nations Security Council in 2019-20

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On 8 June 2018, Germany was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-20 term. Peace, justice, innovation, partnership - these are the things Germany wants to play in the United Nations., © Federal Foreign Office / dpa

06.03.2020 - Article

On 8 June 2018, Germany was elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-20 term. This is the sixth time that the country has assumed major responsibility for peace and security in this function.


Germany has been a non-permanent member of the Security Council for a two-year term since 1 January 2019. In this role, Germany helps to manage and prevent conflicts around the world. Germany’s priorities as a member of the UN Security Council  include women, peace and security; climate and security, protection of humanitarian aid workers and international disarmament.

With five permanent members and ten  members elected for two year terms, theSecurity Council is the only UN body whose decisions are binding under international law. Germany last held a  seat on the Security Council from 2011-2012. For the 2019-20 Term, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and South Africa were also elected to non-permanent seats on the Security Council.

Germany’s priorities in the Security Council

The Security Council is the most important organ of the United Nations beauftragt zu … for guaranteeing peace and security worldwide. Germany’s membership therefore also focusses on conflict resolution. Moreover, Germany works to ensure that the Security Council is even more active in the area of conflict prevention than was the case in the past.

While on the Security Council, Germany is also emphasizing issues that go beyond current crises:

  • The women, peace and security agenda, which aims not only to help women play a stronger role in preventing and managing conflicts, but also to better protect them against sexual and gender-based violence in conflicts. Both of these are core elements of German foreign, security, defense and development policy. It is in this context that Germany assumed the co chairmanship, together with Peru, of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security in 2019.
  • The link between climate change and security policy, especially as climate change is becoming a security issue for an increasing number of countries, including small island states that are exposed to rising sea levels. In August 2018, Germany established the UN Group of Friends on Climate and Security together with Nauru. In the Security Council, Germany continuously draws the link between climate and security in Mandaten/konkreten Ländersituationen.
  • Working to strengthen the humanitarian system. The focus here is on improving the application of international humanitarian law, protecting humanitarian aid workers, ensuring humanitarian access and improving the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts. As the second-largest state donor, Germany is already one of the most important stakeholders in the humanitarian field.
  • On the issue of disarmament and arms control, Germany is committed to a new international arms control regime, one that is not just limited to nuclear, but also includes autonomous arms systems, for The joint consideration of human rights and security remains another key priority for Germany in the Security Council. Massive human rights violations, which are often the cause of conflicts, must also be discussed in the Security Council.

The timeframe for Germany’s membership of the Security Council

Germany has attended all meetings of the Security Council as an observer since 1 October 2018, and became a full member on 1 January 2019.

Germany was President of the Security Council in April 2019 and will again assume the presidency in July 2020. In 2019, France and Germany linked their presidencies for the first time in history of the Security Council and jointly focused on the issues of humanitarian development and women, peace and security.


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