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The New York office started in the New Year with a reception, which gathered about twenty former and current KAS fellows based in the Greater New York area. The evening was also meant to commemorate Konrad Adenauer’s 143rd birthday and offered the opportunity to reconnect with KAS and to expand professional networks.
As the keynote speaker, Ambassador Heusgen introduced Germany’s agenda during the period of its non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council (2019-20). For the sixth time Germany is represented in the most prestigious body of the United Nations. Conflict prevention; Women, Peace and Security; the nexus of Climate and Security as well as Human Rights are important themes where the Mission would like to stage debate.
This year, there is a particularly favorable configuration as five of the fifteen council members are also member states of the European Union, which opens a window of opportunity to influence the agenda in a joint approach. Germany is already working effectively with France as well as the United Kingdom, with which Germany is sharing the co-penholdership on the Libya sanctions regime and UNAMID in Darfur. In addition, Germany is chairing the sanctions committees on North Korea and Libya.
Mr. Heusgen admitted that the situation is at times cumbersome for the ten non-permanent members, who do their turn but do not belong to the exclusive circle of the “Permanent Five.” However, the so-called “E10” benefit from a high level of legitimacy as their membership is the result of a competitive election by the plenum of the UN General Assembly and is not merely a birth right as in the case of the “P5”.
The Ambassador gave a strong commitment to multilateralism, which has become part of the German identity after World War II. Germany is a strong supporter of the UN System and its second largest financial contributor; it also is a key advocate of the reform agenda in order to make the organization more effective and fit for purpose. One particular initiative that Mr. Heusgen wants to advance during the next two years is the role of the voice of the EU in the Security Council.
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