With its five permanent members and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms, the UN Security Council is the only body whose decisions are binding under international law. Germany last held a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in 2011-12. Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and South Africa were also elected to non-permanent seats on the Security Council.
Germany is already strongly engaged in the United Nations - politically, financially and increasingly also in terms of personnel - as the fourth-largest contributor to the regular and peacekeeping budgets, and as the second-largest donor of humanitarian aid and official development assistance. In addition, Germany has become one of the largest western troop-contributing nations to UN peacekeeping missions.
The Federal Government will be focusing on four key goals during its Security Council membership:
In a globalised world, the international community is being called on more than ever before to work together to address conventional and new security challenges. Germany is a reliable partner in this endeavour. It has contributed both personnel and funding to peace missions for almost 30 years now. Conflict prevention, stabilisation, post conflict peacebuilding and arms control are among the pillars of German foreign policy.
Germany is committed to a functioning, values-based global order. Human rights are the foundation of our global coexistence. Gender equality and the self-determination of all women and girls, social inclusion as well as economic, social and cultural rights are among the fundamental values that Germany is working to promote around the globe each and every day.
A main priority of German foreign policy is climate policy. The legally binding climate agreement negotiated in Paris sets important parameters for a genuinely sustainable energy supply worldwide. As a founding member of the United Nations Environment Programme, Germany shares its wide range of experiences and ambitions as the architect of the energy transition. Equal and high-quality education for all children and young people is another top priority. These are issues that, at first glance, may not appear to be relevant to security, but which are key to peaceful and free societies. There can be no security without access to education and water, or without an intact environment.
Germany is a reliable partner in the world. Partnership is about working together as equals. Moreover, Germany wishes to draw on its experiences to support development. Development policy is an investment in the future in order to create structures, share knowledge and ideas and help people to help themselves. Germany wants and is able to help to give the world a more humane face. This also includes treating refugees justly and humanely. The causes of flight have to be dealt with in the countries of origin. Germany is therefore making a substantial contribution to relief organisations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme.