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Westerwelle appeals to small states for UN Security Council seat
Photo: DPA

Westerwelle appeals to small states for UN Security Council seat

Published: 26 Sep 2010 11:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Sep 2010 11:18 GMT+02:00

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, continuing his campaign for Germany to have a seat on the decision-making Security Council.

His 13-minute speech argued that Germany on the Security Council would be a strong partner for smaller countries and would work for peace, climate protection, education and development.

“Our guiding principle, also for the work conducted here in the United Nations, is cooperation on an equal level, it is the cooperation between equals,” he said.

This statement referred to the equality in terms of votes wielded by UN members on which countries will next take up the rotating non-permanent seats on the powerful Security Council.

The German government already helps “those who are suffering the most from climate change,” said Westerwelle.

“The fate of, above all, the small island states is in our hearts,” he said, having held bilateral talks with a number of smaller states including the Marshall Islands - a tiny group of islands in the Pacific – during his five-day visit to New York.

Such tiny countries are often offered economic incentives such as the construction of ports or even government buildings by larger countries in return for their votes in such international forums.

Westerwelle also portrayed Germany as a big player on the world stage.

“Germany is ready to take on global responsibilities within the framework set by the United Nations,” he said.

Two Security Council seats are set to be filled in a secret UN vote on October 12 – the candidates, among them Canada and Portugal – must get a two-thirds majority vote.

The UN General Assembly gives an opportunity for all 192 members to speak – this was the first time Westerwelle had made such an address.

He had made his speech in German, but finished in English, saying, “You can count on Germany. You can rely on Germany.”

DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:59 September 26, 2010 by joetke
Amazing really. Just looking for some legitimacy of modern Germany leaders in recognizing small states, I came across this wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herero_and_Namaqua_Genocide

dealing with a genocide Germans are reluctant to talk about, the genocide of Herero and Namaqua people of Namibia (under some UN-granted german responsibility by then). It is stated that even in 1998 german president Herzog didn't seem eager to recognize german wrong-doing signed by the very first end 19th-20th concentration camps germans set in Namibia, long before they industrialized the management of genocide from 1942.

Now, Westerwelle seems to have completely forgotten (it's not up to a German born politician whatsoever to forget) this SERIOUS HISTORICAL FACT.

He, Merkel and other german leaders SHOULD show much evidence of caring about small nations, before uttering the slightest word about those latter. Just a matter of honesty and contrition.
23:25 September 26, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@joetke

I think you missed the part where Germany gives billions of euros every year in foreign aid to developing countries, and regularly volunteers for material aid in disaster and recovery efforts. I think that qualifies as evidence and caring.
10:17 September 27, 2010 by Aschaffenburgboy
There is no future if you all live in the past. Der Grenadier aus Aachen is correct. Germany is very active in humanitarian aid, and helping those in need. It would also bring balance to the hot headed members which are permanent seated in the council, my country (USA) being one of them.

Please people, remember, the lines on the map were forged with battle cries and blood, this is how it was, for every single nation on the planet. It is time to move forward and live in the present and stop pointing out what every other nation did decades ago.
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