MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Germany –
Source: Federal Foreign OfficeToday, 18 years ago, the terrorist attacks of September 11 were perpetrated in the United States, New York, and Washington. These terrorist attacks have been a turning point for international politics and also for foreign and security policy. Many of the geostrategic changes that are being discussed today – the world in transition, the world out of joint – have had much more to do with it and with what has happened after that than with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Since then, international terrorism has contributed to the increasing use of forms of denationalized violence in wars and conflicts. This makes solving conflicts itself more difficult. What has happened in recent years – it has not emerged, but has become more acute – is a major power competition between the US, Russia and China. The US is economically and militarily regarded as a superpower, Russia at most military, and China is on the way both economically and militarily to become the next superpower. In the face of this great-power competition, we find that all the conflicts we face – Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, or Ukraine in our middle neighborhood – are often proxy conflicts, and the new major powers competition is Conflict resolution is increasingly difficult. But that’s not all. In addition, at the moment we are dealing with four major global challenges: economic globalization, climate change, digitization and migration, all very different, complex dossiers. But they all have one thing in common: they are geared to overcoming borders, and they are boundless challenges. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, there can be no question of being right or left in politics, but actually it is a matter of logic and common sense that when the big challenges have all become boundless , you need cross-border solutions. The international incapacity to act, which we are currently observing at one point or another, is rapidly leading to a loss of national control. Those who do not understand this risk less freedom, less democracy, less peace and less wealth, both nationally and internationally, and German foreign and security policy must do something about that, ladies and gentlemen. The challenges are to stay in control in a world of threatening loss of control. But we can not just make it easy, and we will not make it easy. There are many who say in all these discussions: It is better to stay out, then you have less trouble. But who today in the world in which we live, which is so internationally networked, has not yet understood that the prerequisite for the solution of national problems is often the solution of international problems, actually did not understand what it would be in the next few years goes. I want to say in any case: doing nothing is no alternative, ladies and gentlemen. That’s why we have a lot of international responsibility to bear. We also try to change things structurally. We have been a member of the United Nations Security Council since the beginning of the year. During this time, we’ve learned that most members of the Security Council want – and this is especially true of those who sit there permanently – that topics are not brought into the Security Council until somewhere is shot, when bombs are thrown and if there have already been deaths. I think that’s the completely wrong approach. Rather, if the United Nations Security Council wants to keep its meaning, we must make it a preventive Security Council. That is why Germany applied for it in January – that was our first application – to put the issue of “climate and security” on the agenda. We all know that there is a direct connection between climate and security. If you want to fight the causes of flight, you have to fight climate change. And anyone who wants to prevent future wars that have anything to do with climate change must fight climate change today. That is why we in the Security Council are also working to make sure that we do more preventive work and that we do not act until it is too late. We do that in Europe too. One item in this budget is the creation of a crisis prevention center in Berlin. On behalf of the European Union, and thus also for our partners, we want to ensure that Germany becomes the linchpin when it comes to optimizing crisis prevention or even getting it started. One of the great advantages of the European Union is that it also provides civilian assistance in all its mandates, in which it has a local presence in security and military matters. We connect both and call this the networked approach. With the center identified in this budget, we are taking the lead in this movement. I think that’s how we take a good seat. Ladies and gentlemen, we also deal with conflict resolution as difficult as it gets. Let me just mention three examples: The first example is Iran. There is a lot of writing about disunity within the European Union. But one of the great successes of the European Union is that we have always been very united in our efforts to preserve the nuclear agreement with Iran from the first to the present day. We believe it is better to have an agreement that you can optimize in one place or another than to have no agreement. That would deprive Iran of the opportunity to rely on what is in that treaty. We do not want Iran to be in possession of nuclear weapons. This is excluded by this contract once. That is why we want to preserve it. We want to take advantage of the new dynamism that has been triggered at the Biarritz G7 summit. We know that there is an initiative to allow Iran to sell oil if it delivers something in return and all parties agree, in new talks on extending the nuclear agreement, on Iran’s role in the region, for example in Syria or Yemen, as well as Iran’s ballistic missile program. If that succeeds, then we will move one step further in this conflict. Perhaps the current personnel decisions in Washington are a good indication that we can move forward at this point than has been the case in the past. Second example: the Ukraine. Lately, especially in the last two years, the Minsk process – to put it bluntly – has come to a complete standstill because none of the sides, neither Ukraine nor Russia, has been prepared for the other even to take a step. This has coincided with the election of President Selenskyj, the meeting of the Rada and clear majorities and what has been agreed in recent weeks: unbundling measures, a ceasefire that will definitely hold better than any before, and the captivity exchange last weekend , which has been discussed for a long time, changed. We want to use this momentum. Over the next few weeks, together with our French partners, we want to use our role in the so-called Normandie format so that a meeting can take place between the participants. We have talks with the Russian side and the Ukrainian side. I am confident that given the current changes, there is a chance to revive the Minsk process. Germany and France will get involved in a leading position. That, too, is a role that suits us well. Thirdly, I want to say something to Afghanistan because the news of the last few days has been anything but pleasing. That the talks with the Taliban have ended – we hope that has only been the case for now – is certainly a setback in the efforts that have been made there. We insist that what has been achieved so far is not completely lost. But here, too, I want to say once again: If there is an agreement with the Taliban, then it is envisaged that peace talks will be initiated. We have been asked to organize these peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan Government together with our Norwegian counterparts. We will do that too. Therefore, we hope that this has not been the last word in the talks with the Taliban. So when it comes to a conclusion – and we bet on it – we will stand by with Norway to organize peace talks or a peace conference, as we have done many years ago in Bonn. My ladies and Gentlemen, the great challenge facing us in Europe, which has something to do with it, has something to do with the fact that we must also position Europe in this major power competition. For this we need more togetherness and more unity. We need changes in the procedure, we need more majority decisions in the bodies of the European Union, crisis management needs to be strengthened, and we need to be better placed against outside influence. I am very confident that we can take this path with the many colleagues in the new Commission. We also have to do that in order to be prepared for Brexit. We still believe that there is a possibility of preventing unregulated Brexit, but Brexit will come. We do not like it, but we are not afraid of it, because we have been preparing for it for a long time – even in the case of unregulated Brexit – with a multitude of legislative proposals that we have put into action Ladies and gentlemen, our Presidency, which is due next year, will be a major concern for us. I believe that it is a good opportunity for us to move forward not only our interests, but also the establishment of Europe in this new major power competition. We must be clear about one thing: we can only be united as Europeans in responding to the global challenges, to the big-power competition that exists, but also to the shifts that exist in international security policy. As Germany too, we are too small to respond to these challenges in this context. We live in a time when we need more international cooperation, but we also need more Europe – and that too we have a perspective in Germany to tackle existing problems and challenges in a sensible way and find a solution. Thank you very much.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure need be perfect.