The focus of German Foreign Minister Maas’ trip to New York is multilateralism: taking with him the results of the meeting of the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament, German Foreign Minister Maas called for nuclear disarmament in New York. The Foreign Minister addressed the issues discussed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva at an Alliance for Multilateralism event. He discussed modern human rights policy and call for a joint policy on Libya and Syria.
Putting nuclear disarmament on the agenda
The United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) in May 2018. Last year Europe lost some of its security when the INF Treaty – triggered by Russia’s Treaty violations – ended. Nuclear arms control regimes are at risk of continuing erosion. Germany would like to reverse this development. For the security of us all depends on a functioning nuclear order.
Last year, Germany put nuclear arms control back on the UN Security Council agenda for the first time in many years. This year, German Foreign Minister Maas is seeking to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty – the cornerstone of nuclear control. There will be a Review Conference on the Treaty later this year, an event which takes place every five years and at which the Treaty’s progress is documented and possible adjustments are made.
Germany would like to make the Treaty fit for the future and overcome the standstill in nuclear disarmament. To this end, German Foreign Minister Maas and 15 of his colleagues met in Berlin on 25 February for a meeting of the Stockholm Initiative, where they adopted a series of concrete steps which he now presented to the Security Council in New York.
German Foreign Minister Maas commented as follows:
When we signed the NPT, we all subscribed to its ultimate goal. We must attain a world without nuclear weapons.
And no one bears greater responsibility than the members of this Council.
Multilateral approaches to conflict resolution
German Foreign Minister Maas also used his stay in New York to brief Security Council members on the progress made in implementing the conclusions of the Berlin Libya Conference of 19 January. The Security Council recently confirmed this with a binding resolution. In the Security Council debate on Syria, German Foreign Minister Maas called for a joint approach: The international community cannot stand by and do nothing in the face of the disastrous humanitarian situation. On Thursday, the members of the Security Council will talk about how further escalation can be avoided and access to humanitarian assistance ensured.
From Geneva to New York: Working together for human rights
At the end of his trip, the German Foreign Minister will host an event on human rights in connection with the Alliance for Multilateralism. The focus will be on realising gender equality and on protecting human rights in the age of climate change and the digital transformation.
With his trips to Geneva and New York this week, German Foreign Minister Maas is signalling that Germany is working hard in the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that human rights are respected and that it would like to link the UN’s human rights institutions based in Geneva more closely to the Security Council in New York.