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+++ Annual General Assembly of the United Nations: 'The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism'.

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New York, 17 - 30 September 2020 - Usually, the political and diplomatic world would meet in New York at the end of September for the annual general debate of the United Nations. This time, everything is different.

United Nations in New York
United Nations in New York© photothek.net / Florian Gaertner

In the light of the Corona pandemic, the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75) will take place without the heads of state and government or foreign ministers.

Everything will take place virtually.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will also give his speech on 29 September by video.

Solving problems together

The central themes of this year's general debate also include the pandemic.

Under the motto 'The future we want, the United Nations we need. Reaffirming our common commitment to multilateralism', one of the topics to be discussed will be the important role of multilateralism in the fight against COVID-19.

Germany will also make its contribution in this sense: The corona pandemic has clearly shown everyone that the problems of the 21st century can only be solved together.

Germany is therefore committed to strengthening the system in which we as states establish jointly valid rules, in other words multilateralism, in the long term.

On September 25, Germany is inviting the foreign ministers of the Alliance for Multilateralism to a conference on the issues of health, climate, digitization and equality.

Yemen, Libya, Disarmament

In addition to this event, Germany has put a whole range of other items on the agenda of the so-called UN week:

Yemen

A virtual meeting on 17 September, to which Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had invited together with his counterparts from Great Britain, Sweden, Kuwait and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, focussed on concrete crisis management in Yemen.

To reduce the suffering of the people in Yemen, all parties are to be brought to agree to the UN Special Envoy's initiative for a nationwide ceasefire, confidence-building measures and the start of negotiations.

Libya

On October 5, Germany and the United Nations are organizing a virtual meeting to further discuss the conflict in Libya.

The aim is to take stock of what has been achieved since the Berlin Libya Conference in January 2020.

At the same time, the meeting will pick up the thread of the UN Security Council meeting on July 8 under German chairmanship.

Disarmament

And also the disarmament issue plays a major role: for years Germany has been working together with Australia, Finland, Japan, Canada and the Netherlands, among others, in the group of friends of the “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (CTBT) to ensure that this treaty comes into force soon.

The 1996 treaty has been ratified by 168 states so far, including Germany in 1998, but it has not yet come into force because not all the states necessary for it have ratified it, including China, USA, Iran, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

The treaty is not only an elementary component of the multilateral nuclear non-proliferation structure that we have designed together with other states.

It is also proof of why it is worth continuing to insist that states work together in the interest of the common good of all human beings, in short: why multilateralism and the work of the United Nations are so important.

(source: GFFO)

Background information

The EU is committed to a multilateral system with a strong and effective United Nations at its core.

This commitment is based on the conviction that in order to respond to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system based on universal rules and values.

The EU has built a strong relationship with the UN over the years.

There are many different areas of cooperation that are dealt with by the various UN bodies.

The EU also participates in the annual UN General Assemblies.

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