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Maas at the Security Council – kick-off in New York

Foreign Minister Maas at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Foreign Minister Maas at the UN Headquarters in New York., © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

24.01.2019 - Article

At the start of Germany’s two-year membership of the Security Council, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas underlined the country’s interest in playing an active role. The priorities for its term on the Security Council will include the impact of climate change on security and combating sexual violence.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is travelling to New York on Thursday (24 January) to represent Germany at the Security Council. At the United Nations Headquarters , he will draw attention to two very serious security problems. 

Climate change as a threat to security

One of these problems concerns climate change. As a result of global warming, essential resources are becoming scarcer all over the world. The competition for grazing ground, land or water, which is already the cause of many conflicts today, will become more intense. Disputes on resource distribution will pose ever-greater threats to security. Germany thus wants to convince the Security Council to do more in the future to address climate change as a threat to security. Maas will call on it to constantly analyse climate-related threats and to establish an early warning system.

Arria-Formula Meeting of the Security Council Members chaired by Foreign Minister Maas on the topic of women, peace and security in the Middle East.
Arria-Formula Meeting of the Security Council Members chaired by Foreign Minister Maas on the topic of women, peace and security in the Middle East. © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

No impunity for sexual violence

A further priority for Germany is to tackle sexual violence in conflicts more effectively. Rape is often deliberately used as a weapon in wars, not only against women and girls, but also against men and boys. The international community turned a blind eye to this issue for decades. Foreign Minister Maas thus now aims to persuade the Security Council to address this topic more extensively and to develop more effective counter-strategies. For example, Germany intends to support initiatives that record cases of sexual violence in wars and hold the perpetrators to account.

Ownership for lasting peace

The German Government also seeks to strengthen women’s role in peace processes, as experts agree that lasting peace is only possible when women are able to play an equal role in resolving conflicts and overcoming differences. 


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