Dinner with Mr. Martin Jäger, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development - Auslandsbüro New York
State Secretary Jäger emphasized the heightened importance of development assistance in the German federal budget. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development secured a record budget hitting the 10 billion Euro benchmark. Overall, Official Development Assistance rose to 25 billion Euros making the country the world’s second largest bilateral donor after the United States.
Embedding the work of the Ministry in multilateralism also becomes an objective for the pending BMZ reform process. It is already reflected in the priority for multilateral topics – especially those related to climate change, but also in the enhanced financial contributions to multilateral and regional financial institutions. The strong focus on Africa that the Ministry has developed since the last legislative period, is also reflected now in the budget. 57% of BMZ funds are dedicated to development assistance in African states.
Participants remarked how important it was that Germany acts as a role model by putting aside national interest in favor of multilateral solutions during intergovernmental negotiations, in particular at the EU level. Thus, Germany’s reputation has been growing much due to its sense of responsibility to protect the global order. Mr. Jäger praised the reform efforts of the UN Secretary-General and reassured the support of the German Government, also financially. He highlighted the current favorable leadership constellation with key actors, who not only have the right skill set and but also form a management team that works together effectively. At a time when multilateralism comes under threat, trust of member states in the United Nations and its reform processes are key. The large presence of Heads of State at the last General Assembly in 2018 therefore has been reassuring.