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Statement by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel prior to his departure for the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York

Press release

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement in Berlin this evening (19 September) prior to his departure for New York:

We are travelling to New York today with certain expectations. The international community is meeting this week at the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations. Once again, the General Assembly is taking place at a time of crises and conflicts, the enormous challenge of eradicating poverty and hunger, and a nascent East-West conflict.

When – as in New York this week – political decision-makers from all over the world convene, this is always an opportunity to strive for solutions and to make progress in talks and meetings.

The German Foreign Minister must be there, even during the election campaign.

We certainly need the United Nations to play a greater role – not a smaller one. In this era of crises and conflicts, the values of the Charter of the United Nations and cooperation between its members under the auspices of the United Nations are perhaps more important than ever.

Beyond the crisis with North Korea, the wars, conflicts and humanitarian disasters in eastern Ukraine and Syria, on Qatar, on the Iranian nuclear programme, and in Myanmar, Yemen and elsewhere, this is our key message at a time in which confrontation is taking the place of willingness to work together, rearmament has supplanted arms control and transparency, and our world has certainly not become a more peaceful place since the last General Assembly of the United Nations.

I firmly believe that it falls to Germany in particular to promote détente, political dialogue, diplomatic solutions, solidarity, cooperation and peaceful exchange, both between East and West and North and South! To this end, the world needs a United Nations that fosters the values of the Charter, can respond rapidly and effectively, and receives the resources needed for its work from the member states.That is what is needed now and it can only be achieved if we work together!

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