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Foreign Minister Maas speaking to the press on the margins of the UN General Assembly

Foreign Minister Maas speaking to the press on the margins of the UN General Assembly, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

24.09.2018 - Article

Why Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants to strengthen the UN in New York

On Monday (24 September), Foreign Minister Heiko Maas departed for the UN General Assembly in New York, where Heads of Government and Foreign Ministers from almost every country in the world meet every year to discuss the most pressing global problems. 

Stopping the world order from becoming a “jungle”

Foreign Minister Maas at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly
Foreign Minister Maas at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly© Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

In New York, Maas wants to further his initiative to strengthen values such as cooperation, fair trade and respect for international law because the rules of international politics have come under pressure since populists have been in government in an increasing number of countries around the world. The work of institutions such as the UN is becoming ever more difficult – a dangerous development. “We Germans can have no interest in a ‘jungle growing back’ in the world order,” Foreign Minister Maas said. Germany will thus take on greater responsibility in the UN, including as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from the beginning of 2019.

Germany is taking on responsibility for a strong UN

In New York, Maas will advocate an alliance between the countries that want to resolve problems through cooperation and to strengthen the UN. “The more that others focus on the law of the strong, the more energetically we must counter them with the multilateral order,” he said. 

Team players rather than populists

The plan is to set up a group of international team players who will work together to promote cooperation and binding rules, but not to launch a new fixed talks format. The idea is that the countries in the group will strengthen existing institutions such as the UN by coordinating their work. Foreign Minister Maas already agreed the first steps for this “alliance of multilateralists” with Japan, South Korea and Canada in recent months.

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