Germany has been reunited in democracy and freedom for 28 years. It is now almost three decades since the political division imposed by the Cold War was overcome. Courageous citizens in East Germany were instrumental in bringing about the fall of the Wall between the East and the West.
Yet our partner states also played a crucial role. Without their trust in the peaceful and positive development of the united Germany in Europe, German unity would not have been possible.
This year, too, numerous countries have placed considerable trust in us. In June, Germany was elected by more than 180 countries to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for two years. We regard this trust from the international community as a commission to continue to do everything in our power to promote peace and security in the world in cooperation with our partners. This is only possible within the framework of a rules-based international order. True multilateralism must not impose the law of the strong but needs to create fair conditions for everyone. We want to work together towards this goal in an alliance for multilateralism which is open to all interested parties.
The world of the 21st century, which is increasingly characterised by mutual dependence, requires us to overcome isolation. Even though nationalist and populist sentiments are currently on the rise all over the world, it is right and it is possible to work to counteract these developments. In the mid-1980s, hardly anyone in the divided Germany believed that the fall of the Berlin Wall was a possibility, and yet fall it did just a few years later.
Today we are again working in the European Union and with our partners throughout the world to overcome divisions, bridge the gap between differing opinions, help resolve crises and conflicts across the globe and promote human rights and the rule of law.
One lesson from German reunification is that true progress can never take place by going it alone. We are, and will remain dependent on one another. And that is a good thing.