Germany seeks seat on UN security council

Berlin last had a seat at the highest table of international security in 2011-12. Now the Foreign Minister has announced that Germany wants the role again.

Germany seeks seat on UN security council
The United Nations Security Council. Photo: DPA

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced on Monday in Hamburg that Germany would apply for a role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2019-2020.

“We need the United Nations and the Security Council more than ever in efforts to achieve peace in these unstable times,” Steinmeier said.

Despite criticism leveled against it, the Security Council is the only forum where resolutions in compliance with international law can be agreed upon, he added.

“The Security Council is, and always has been, the central global crisis manager.”

As well as the five permanent members – the USA, Russia, China, France and the UK – the Security Council has ten non-permanent members which, unlike permanent members, do not have a veto on resolutions.

While Germany has been making efforts to gain a long-term seat at the UN Security Council for years as part of a larger reform of the international body, it has made little progress in its efforts.

The application has been expected for a long time. Germany has been a non-permanent member of the Security Council five times, meaning it is represented there on average every eight years.

The decision on non-permanent members of the council in 2019-2020 is set to be made in mid-2018, and German diplomats will now set about gathering support for their application.

In order to be elected, Germany needs the backing of two-thirds of the 193 countries represented in the UN General Assembly.

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