Madam President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

A veteran of UN diplomacy told me the other
day that every General Assembly has its own
crisis to discuss, its own major topic.

So what is tt]e big issue in 2018? Syria? North
Korea? The Middle East? Or the dramatic
global refugee situation from the
Mediterranean to Venezuela?

If you take a step back, these disparate
conflicts reveal a bigger picture and a distinct
pattern. It becomes clear that we are indeed
faced with a crisis - the crisis of
multilateralism. And this crisis makes
conflicts around the world appear

When I say they appear irresolvable, this
reflects the faith we Germans have in
multilateralism. Germany s postwar success
story is also multilateralism s success

Europe, which was scarred by war and
destruction, was able to integrate in freedom,
security and prosperity thanks to our
European neighbours courage in seeking
reconciliation. The United States also played
a crucial role in Europe s reconstruction.

The fact that it was this Europe that was able
to become the United Nations’ closest
partner is a triumph of multilateralism. We
believe in the United Nations because
international cooperation changed our own
fate for the better.

Europe has proved to the world that
multilateralism and sovereignty are not a
contradiction in terms. On the contrary, in
a world faced with immense global
problems, we can only safeguard
sovereignty if we work together!

The three words, we the peoples , express
both our goal and how we will achieve it.

That s why the founders of the United Nations
put these words at the start of the Charter.
They wanted to spell out that we need to work
together to find solutions. They wanted to
leave no doubt as to whom the United
Nations and we as delegates serve - the
people. The Charter s promise is
addressed to the people, who are told that
their freedom and dignity will be defended
at the United Nations in New York.

But does a boy in Idlib who lives in constant
fear of the next air strike feel this? How does a
girl in Africa feel when her life expectancy at
birth is 30 years lower than in Germany?
If we do not act on their behalf, we the
peoples will simply be hollow words for them.

Kofi Annan once said: We don t need any
more promises. We need to start keeping
the promises we already made.
When Germany joins the Security Council
as a non-permanent member in a few weeks
time, that will be what motivates us.

Thank you for the huge trust you showed in us
through your votes. Your trust is an incentive
for us to play our part in tackling the world’s
crises - and to do so with courage and
confidence, but without over-estimating

We want to work with you as a reliable partner
that puts dialogue and cooperation at the
heart of what it does.

In our view, we the peoples particularly
refers to those who find it hard to be heard at
the United Nations. And that means we will
always seek dialogue with civil society - in
the Security Council and beyond.

However, we the peoples also means that
the Security Council itself must become
more representative and inclusive. The
world s population has more than tripled since
1945, while the number of UN member states
has almost quadrupled. However, the Security
Council has hardly changed at all. That s why
we should stop beating around the bush and
finally start real negotiations on Security
Council reform, as the vast majority of the
member states has wanted for a long time.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Nowhere is the crisis of multilateralism more
painfully evident than in Syria. The civil war
has long since turned into a widespread
regional conflict, with further potential for
escalation in an already ravaged region.

This sort of war cannot be resolved by
military means, as the regional players are
too deeply involved and the individual sta es
are too high.

With united diplomatic efforts, we did,
however, manage to prevent escalation in
Idlib. That is a glimmer of hope!

The agreement between Turkey and Russia
must now be permanently implemented. But
ultimately, and at long last, we need a political
process. To this end, the talks must be held
under the auspices of the United Nations.
In Resolution 2254, the Security Council itself
showed the way. We must finally take this
path to free and fair elections.

At that point, we will also be willing to shoulder
responsibility for reconstruction. However,
there is one line we will not cross - we will
not become accomplices to a regime that
has forfeited its political legitimacy.

Instead, we are doing our utmost to alleviate
people s suffering. It is shameful that financial
support is running out once again. As the
second-largest humanitarian donor,
Germany is willing to provide UNHCR with a
further 116 million euros - that is, half of
the amount currently needed - to help
Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. But
others also need to step up. After all, the
Charter talks about we the peoples .

Disruptive foreign-policy approaches have
now also reached the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Many people are keen to make us
believe that the negotiated two-state solution
is obsolete. They want us to think it is now
merely a term used in diplomacy and can no
longer be achieved.

But whatever way you twist it, there will only
be lasting peace if people can lead selfdetermined
lives in security and dignity on
both sides of the 1967 Lines. That s
precisely why, even 25 years after Oslo,
working on a negotiated two-state solution is
still the right thing to do.

The conflict in Ukraine will also continue to
occupy us. Along with France, Russia and
Ukraine, we are working hard to implement
the Minsk agreements.

The focus is on the measures agreed a long
time ago with a view to stabilising the
ceasefire. All efforts, including our discussion
on a possible UN mission in eastern
Ukraine, are aimed at achieving that.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let us not forget that acute crisis management
is at best a step towards peace. Lasting peace
can only be achieved if we put a stop to the
arms race. T is is not some sort of
nostalgic rhetoric from the days of the
Cold War, whose balance of terror seems
utterly benign compared with the scenario
of a multipolar arms race, with far more
unpredictable players.

In the case of North Korea, the Security
Council s united stance and the sanctions
helped to pave the way back to dialogue. That
was important.

However, North Korea must follow up its
words with deeds, and this must lead to
complete, verifiable and irreversible
denuclearisation. Germany is prepared to
contribute its know-how, including the
expertise we gained during the difficult
negotiations with Iran.

The nuclear agreement with Iran may not be
perfect. But so far, it has prevented Iran from
obtaining nuclear weapons and averted an
escalation that, three years ago, was highly
likely. That s not insignificant!

We Europeans therefore stand together by the
agreement. We are working on keeping
economic exchange with Iran possible, and
we call on Iran to continue to fully implement
its commitments.

The fact that we stand by the JCPOA does not
mean that we are turning a blind eye to Iran s
destructive role in the region or to its ballistic
missile programme. That said, if there were no
agreement, this would not make the search for
solutions in Yemen, Syria or elsewhere any

On the contrary, disarmament, arms control
and non-proliferation must generally
become more of a focus of the United Nations’
work once again. We share Secretary-General
Guterres’ view on this.

Our common rules must keep pace with
technological developments. Otherwise, what
currently sounds like science fiction may very
soon become deadly reality - autonomous
weapons systems, or killer robots, that kill
without any human control. I ask that you
please support, both here in New York and in
Geneva, our initiative to ban fully
autonomous weapons - before it is too

Ladies and gentlemen,

Not only in this domain is prevention the right

The United Nations of the 21st century must
tackle the root causes of conflict. These
include climate change. Action based solely
on nationalism, with the objective of putting
my country first , reaches its limits here - not
least because our climate knows no borders.

The alarm bells have rarely sounded as loudly
as they did in the summer of 2018 - in almost
all parts of the world.

Germany and the European Union stand by
the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, we
want to ensure that the Security Council
makes the devastating effects that climate
change can have on the security and stability
of entire countries and regions an even
greater priority.

We also need a quantum leap as regards
post-conflict peacebuilding. That is why
Germany will contribute at least
25 million euros to the Peacebuilding Fund
this year. Over the last three years, Germany
has tripled its contributions toward promoting
stabilisation and preventing crises around the

Take, for example, Iraq, where the terrorists
of Islamic State have for the most part been
militarily defeated. Instead of leaving the Iraqi
authorities to fend for themselves, we are
training security forces, fostering
administrative structures and providing civil
support to promote stabilisation, reconciliation
and inclusive reconstruction in the country.
Only when military measures are
embedded in a clear political strategy will
peacekeepers truly bring peace.

This is also the objective of Secretary-General
Guterres peacekeeping reform efforts. It
would be a mistake to limit our discussion to
bartering over decimal points in scales for
assessed contributions. Of course, efficiency
is important - also for us Europeans, as the
largest funding contributor.

However, discussing potential cost savings
alone does not do justice to the benefits that
peacekeeping missions bring, for example in
countries such as Mali or Lebanon, which
have held peaceful elections and enjoyed
relative stability, in part thanks to the Blue
Helmets and the political efforts of the United
Nations. We Germans will continue to
contribute - militarily, financially, and always
also politically, through diplomatic efforts and
by investing in stability and reconstruction.
After all, the success of UN missions
hinges on member states political

This is particularly true for Libya right now. To
tackle the Herculean task of advancing
functioning state structures, the United
Nations needs our political support.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Peace is more than guns falling silent.

Only just societies will remain peaceful in
the long term - societies in which men and
women enjoy equal rights and in which
women participate in aN social decision¬
making. This is not only a matter of fairness
and respect. It is simply about humanity and

Kofi Annan taught us that We will not enjoy
development without security, or security
without development. We will not enjoy either
without universal respect for human rights.
Seventy years after the adoption of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its
proclamation of dignity and personal freedom
remains merely a distant promise for many.

In the Security Council, in the Human Rights
Council or here at the General Assembly, we
will demand accountability when human
rights are trampled underfoot, whether this
concerns human trafficking in Africa or attacks
on the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Even in war, there are limits. We must hold to
account those who wilfully attack humanitarian
aid workers, hospitals or schools. Anyone
who violates the most basic rules of
human civilisation must be punished.

That also applies to those who use chemical
weapons, thereby breaking a taboo that was
respected for decades. This is why it is so
important that the OPCW has meanwhile
been authorised to find and identify those
responsible. The perpetrators must be fully
aware that there can be no impunity for
crimes against humanity. Never, not

In this regard, the International Criminal
Court remains indispensable because it
sends a clear message to the victims and the
perpetrators of the most serious crimes that
justice will prevail.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Earlier, I spoke about how we Germans in
particular have faith when it comes to
multilateralism. This faith is also based on the
fact that the United Nations, time and again
and despite all disagreements, delivers proof
of what we can achieve through joint

I am thinking of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, which remains
our guiding principle for making this a better
world for all people.

I am also thinking about the successful
conclusion of the negotiations on the global
compacts for migration and on refugees.
The fact that more than 190 member states -
countries of origin, transit and destination -
reached agreement on such complex and
controversial issues is a victory for
multilateralism! It is a success achieved by
truly united nations.

The United Nations is built on our courage
to reach compromises. The Organisation
grows with our desire to shape things. It
thrives on our common pledge of together
first .

Common ground is created when we put
people at the heart of what we do. The
desire for peace and security, and the dream
of a prosperous and dignified life, are things
that all people share - whether they live in
Baghdad, Berlin or Bamako.

The United nations belongs to the people.
It is to them that we owe allegiance. We
the peoples !