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Statement by Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Member of the German Bundestag, at the high-level event “Alliance for Multilateralism: Building the Network and Presenting Results”

26.09.2019 - Speech

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Distinguished colleagues,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

What brings us together today is a joint belief and a strong conviction that global problems cannot be solved by one country alone.

We need to work together. We need to do so in the context of strong international institutions, especially in the framework of the United Nations.

Despite all the crises we are facing – the rules-based international order has brought us peace and prosperity like never before in human history.

We need to protect it against being devalued and disregarded.

We also need to adapt it to new challenges and technological developments, from new weapons systems to the digital revolution.

And we need to reform it – to make it more inclusive, more representative, and more effective.

Today, we are all here to show that this approach works. Many of us have been working on different concrete initiatives. Each of us will have an opportunity to sign up to them.

This is exactly what I had in mind when I first brought up the idea of an “Alliance for Multilateralism”: A network of countries coming together in flexible formats to address concrete policy challenges.

One of the issues particularly dear to our hearts, and central to the rules we all need to play by, is respect for international humanitarian law.

Today, Germany and France are presenting an initiative that has emerged from our twin Presidencies of the UN Security Council this spring: the “Humanitarian Call for Action”.

This Call aims to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law and for principled humanitarian action.

Joining this “Call for Action” implies taking practical measures:

•           spreading knowledge on international humanitarian law and principles,

•           supporting those who negotiate humanitarian access

•           and offering humanitarian workers improved protection.

I want to encourage you all to endorse this Call.

Looking around the room today, I have no doubt that we have the critical mass to make a difference! But to be successful, we must carry this message far beyond this room. We must demonstrate concrete benefits of multilateral engagement to our citizens.

That is how we can build “the future we want”, the motto of the UN’s 75th anniversary next year. Let’s build this future together! Work together. Multilaterally.

Thank you for joining us!

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