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Westerwelle wants UN seat for disarmament

The Local · 23 Sep 2010, 14:11

Published: 23 Sep 2010 14:11 GMT+02:00

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“Disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation is of no less importance for humanity than our fight against climate change,” Westerwelle told public broadcaster ZDF while in New York for a United Nations summit.

He said Germany, which is currently campaigning for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, was concerned about the growing number of countries around the globe armed with nuclear weapons. This, in turn, increased the likelihood that terrorists would one day get their hands on an atomic bomb.

"This would be a huge endangerment of humanity's safety," he said. "That is why German foreign policy is not just one of peace but is also focused on promoting disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation."

Westerwelle on Wednesday evening announced a new initiative with nine other non-nuclear nations - including Japan and Australia - to push for a world free of atomic weapons.

Germany is currently seeking a spot as one of the ten non-standing members of the UN Security Council for the next two years. But unlike the five permanent members of the Council - the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France - Germany would not be granted veto power.

Winning a non-permanent seat requires securing two thirds of the vote from the 192 members of the UN on October 12. Two other nations, Canada and Portugal, are competing against Germany for the spot.

Westerwelle's boss Chancellor Angela Merkel kicked off the German charm offensive earlier this week during her visit to New York by working to win the support of the African UN members. With Germany the UN's third-largest donor, she attempted to underline Berlin's importance on the world stage and its role in pushing for the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Germany has long advocated a complete overhaul of the UN Security Council structure, along with Brazil, Japan and India.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:49 September 23, 2010 by auniquecorn
That is why germany does´nt have a seat in the security council
23:14 September 23, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, without question, the most effective way in which to avoid a nuclear war, or a terrorist attack involving nuclear weapons, is to first build some sort of missile defense system. And then establish dialogue that is based upon convincing humanity to take a rational, non-emotional approach to solving conflict.
01:05 September 24, 2010 by deutschamer
It was stupid to make permanent security council members when the UN was founded. Throughout history, people think the future of the world is locked in terms of countries, which are the most powerful, etc. Of course it is always fluid. Its now absurdly ridiculous that Russia, Britain, and France are permanent members. The whole idea of permanent members should be scrapped, and in its place some sort of criteria put in place such as percent of total contributions to the UN that would determine who the members with veto power should be, if any.
03:13 September 24, 2010 by TheEye
The reason things are as they are, deutschamer, is because there has to be a difference in life between those who kick ass and those who have their asses kicked (twice so far; are you feeling lucky again?)
05:47 September 24, 2010 by vonSchwerin
Why should we think that anyone would listen to Germany on nuclear proliferation? As if Ahmadinejad is really going take advice from Guido or so what Guido wants! Dream on.
11:33 September 24, 2010 by michael4096
"without question, the most effective way in which to avoid a nuclear war, or a terrorist attack involving nuclear weapons, is to first build some sort of missile defense system..."

I can't think of a faster way of inviting a terrorist attack than convincing yourself you're invulnerable and yanking the terrorists chain by claiming moral superiority
23:33 September 24, 2010 by deutschamer

America and Russia/Soviet Union certainly kicked ass, but Britain, France, and China certainly did not. (Britain had their ass kicked right along with France when the odds were even. They sort of tagged along with the Americans after a massive buildup by the Americans and after 3/4 of the Germans were occupied with the eastern front.)
00:13 September 25, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I'm sure we all hope it never happens. However, if there comes a time when nuclear misslies start exploding above cities, it will then be too late. Such an evernt is perhaps the only thing that could literally threaten the existence of humans.

To be strong is to be prepared.
02:30 September 25, 2010 by deutschamer
I can't understand why anyone would be against a missile shield, even if its not perfect. The system could continue to be refined and improved. Reagan even offered to share a missile shield with the Soviets. They still acted threatened by it. To me, that showed their true hand and intentions, which was that they wanted to continue bullying countries around with their threat of nuclear weapons.
06:09 September 25, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Let's hope that Angela Merkel's "charm offensive" is a little more sophisticated than that of President Bush's at a group meeting a few years ago, when he patted Angela Merkel on her posterior.
18:55 September 25, 2010 by michael4096
"I can't understand why anyone would be against a missile shield.."

That is the soldier's response, not the diplomat's. Its all a question of balance.

If two parties are uneasy with each other then an equal ability to damage or be damaged is far safer than when one side is better protected. Even if the untouchable side is not aggressive, the other side will feel insecure. However, in practice the untouchable side will not be able to resist pushing its own agenda as there is no downside risk.
01:13 September 26, 2010 by wenddiver
How will his wife deal with him staying in New York?
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