Video message by Her Excellency Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, on the occasion of the Virtual Leaders’ Summit of the Open Government Partnership, September 24

24.09.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Global tasks can only be solved globally. We will likewise only be able to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic together. For this, we need multilateral organizations such as  the World Health Organization – which should be strengthened accordingly!

It goes without saying that we need cohesion also within our countries and societies and a willingness to support measures to tackle the pandemic. A key prerequisite for this is trust. And trust is closely bound up with understanding in order to appreciate why the specific approach being taking is necessary.

In a federal democracy like Germany, this requires  ongoing discussion and transparent communication. Conferences between the Federation and the “Länder” take place on a regular basis to this end, the outcome of which is then presented at joint press conferences. Our political actions are based on research and facts  that must be communicated in an understandable and comprehensive way in order to counteract disinformation, conspiracy theories and fatal conclusions derived from this.

Members of the public rightly expect us to be guided by fundamental values and human rights. In all crisis management measures, it is important to weigh up precisely whether they serve  their objective, whether they are proportionate and whether there are better ways and means to  achieve our goals. Weighing up such considerations is indispensable as freedom is an essential value of our democracy and the temporary restrictions to our lives as a result of the pandemic must be particularly well justified.

Democracy depends on open exchange. The Open Government Partnership underscores how open, transparent government action helps to strengthen the trust that it needs to master the coronavirus in perfect unison. I am most grateful for  the contribution that you are making.

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