Germany delivers on climate commitments ahead of schedule
Current information about Germany’s foreign policy and foreign relations.
22/09/2023: Germany delivers on climate commitments ahead of schedule
New York (d.de) – Germany has delivered on its commitments to international climate support three years earlier than planned. During 2022 Germany exceeded the support it had pledged of €6 billion annually for emerging and developing countries, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the Climate Ambition Summit in New York. “We did it three years earlier than we initially planned: in 2022 rather than 2025,” Scholz added.
He also expressed his optimism that this year, industrial countries would fulfil their commitment to provide $100 billion for the first time. This would be an “important signal, an overdue signal”, he said. Germany would hold the next Replenishment Conference for the International Climate Fund in Bond, the Federal Chancellor said, adding that Germany was planning to contribute €2 billion, €500m more than the last time the fund was replenished. The aid funds are primarily aimed at supporting countries in the Global South with reducing carbon emissions and adapting to the impact of climate change.
21/09/2023: Germany signs UN seas protection treaty
New York (dpa) - At the UN General Assembly in New York Germany’s Federal Government signed an international treaty to protect the world’s seas. Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described the agreement as “a glimmer of hope for the world’s seas, a glimmer of hope for the people of this world, and also a glimmer of hope for the United Nations.” Until now the seas had effectively been a lawless space, Baerbock said, “but that changes now.” Environment Minister Steffi Lemke spoke of a “historic day in protection for the seas”, and said it was good that around 80 states had signed the agreement.
Following years of negotiations, the United Nations approved the treaty to protect the world’s oceans in June. Among other things the treaty creates a framework for designating large protected areas in the open ocean. It also specifies processes for assessing the environmental impact of scientific projects, expeditions and other activities at sea. The high seas make up two-thirds of the world’s seas and oceans, and until now have been mostly lawless.
20.09.2023: Germany calls for cessation of military action in Nagorno-Karabakh
New York (dpa) – The German government has called upon Azerbaijan to immediately cease its military action in Nagorno-Karabakh. “Armenia and Azerbaijan currently find themselves in a highly precarious situation, and it is abundantly clear to us that these hostilities must end without delay,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on the sidelines of the UN General Debate in New York. Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock demanded: “Azerbaijan must immediately stop shelling and return to the negotiating table.” The crucial thing, she said, was “to protect the civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh. This is also the task of the Russian soldiers stationed there”. Baerbock believes that lasting peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia can only be achieved at the negotiating table, explaining that Baku’s promise to refrain from military action was broken. Azerbaijan had launched a large-scale military operation to recapture the conflict region that is situated on Azerbaijani territory but has a majority Armenian population.
19.09.2023: Further weapons aid for Ukraine
Berlin (dpa) – Ahead of an international meeting for the support of Ukraine, Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has announced further German weapons aid. “In total, the package will be worth 400 million euros,” Pistorius told the newspaper “Bild”. “We are supplying additional ammunition: explosive ammunition, mortar ammunition, mine rockets. Ammunition is what Ukraine needs the most in its defensive struggle against the brutal war of aggression,” said the minister. “In addition, we will help with armoured vehicles and mine clearance systems. But we also have our eye on the approaching winter: we will send clothing, but also electricity and heat generators.”
According to an overview released by the Federal Government, Germany has earmarked a total of around 5.4 billion euros for its primarily military support for Ukraine, following a figure of two billion euros last year. For the following years, there are commitment appropriations of around 10.5 billion euros.
18/09/2023: Germany campaigns for implementation of Agenda 2030
Berlin (d.de) – On the occasion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York, Germany has pledged its commitment to campaign for the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “It’s high time we caught up the ground we have lost on our way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Development Minister Svenja Schulze. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke warned, “We have no time to lose.” She stressed that the three planet-level crises of species extinction, the climate crisis and increasing pollution, along with growing inequality, are threatening the long-term achievement of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, “and with that, the very foundations of all our existences,” she said.
In 2015 the international community adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which should be achieved by 2030. However, at the half-way point the balance sheet is concerning. Germany’s Federal Government will present 12 contributions at the UN Sustainable Development Summit which are aimed at helping achieve the goals.
15/09/2023: First THW aid supplies arrive in Libya
Bonn/Benghazi (dpa) – The first consignment of aid from Germany’s Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) for the flooded areas in Libya has arrived in country. Two Federal Armed Forces aircraft carrying 30 tonnes of aid supplies landed in Benghazi on Thursday evening, a THW spokesperson said. The aid which has reached the disaster area includes 100 tents with lighting, 1000 camp beds, 1000 blankets, 1000 sleeping mats, 1000 water filters, and 80 generators. The supplies filled eight lorries and are worth half a million euros, according to the THW. Deliveries were being made upon request on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, with funding from the Federal Foreign Office.
Storm Daniel hit the north African country on Sunday with catastrophic effects. According to the mayor of the port city of Darna, which was hit very badly, estimates place the number of deaths in that city alone at 20,000.
14/09/2023: Government extends Federal Armed Forces deployment to Iraq
Berlin (d.de) – The German government has approved extending the deployment of up to 500 Federal Armed Forces personnel in Iraq until 31 October 2024. The German deployment is taking place with the agreement of the Iraqi government as part of Operation Inherent Resolve of the international Anti-IS Coalition and NATO Mission Iraq. On a visit to Berlin in January 2023, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani stressed that there was a desire for German troops to continue their involvement in fighting terrorism in Iraq.
The Federal Armed Forces have a range of roles in the mission, including air-to-air refuelling, air transportation, airborne surveillance and AWACS operations. In addition to providing military support for Iraq, Germany has provided over €3.4 billion for civilian aid since 2013.
13/09/2023: Germany announces aid to Libya
Berlin (d.de/dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz is deeply concerned by the catastrophe in Libya. “Our thoughts are with all those affected and their families.” “We are in contact with the United Nations and our partners on possible aid,” Scholz wrote on X. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser held out the prospect of Germany’s Technische Hilfswerk (THW) providing support. “We want to help as quickly as possible after this dreadful natural disaster,” she said. The THW is Germany’s national civil and disaster protection organisation with 86,000 volunteer helpers and 1,800 salaried staff.
Storm Daniel had previously caused serious damage in Greece before causing a catastrophe in the Libyan port city of Harna. According to current estimates, around 5,000 people have died in flooding which followed several dam breaches, while 10,000 remain missing.
12/09/2023: Baerbock intervenes on behalf of children abducted from Ukraine
Kyiv (dpa) - Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin for children abducted from Ukraine to be returned home “without delay”. Baerbock described returning the children to Ukraine as “the first step towards peace” during a visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. She described how Ukrainian children were being abducted and exposed to brainwashing in inhumane ways, “with the aim of setting them against their own home, Ukraine”. Their fate “shows once again that Putin will stop at nothing. He has no moral compass.” Baerbock also added that Putin was breaking “the rules of the international community and the rules which govern how people live together” on a daily basis.
According to figures from Ukraine, Russia has taken around 20,000 Ukrainian children to Russia from areas near the front line in Crimea. This is expected to be a significant issue in discussions on the fringe of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York next week. Baerbock is planning to draw attention to the fate of the abducted children while in New York.
11/09/2023: Large-scale exercises under German leadership in the Baltic
Riga (dpa) – Two weeks of naval exercises are getting underway under German leadership off the coast of Lithuania and Estonia. According to the Navy, over 3,000 service personnel from 14 countries are taking part in this year’s round of the “Northern Coasts” exercises, which first took place in 2007. The countries involved include those around the Baltic, Italy, France, Canada and the USA. The exercises are being commanded from Rostock, some 1000km away, and are aimed at improving cohesion between the allies. This is the first time that a Northern Coasts exercise is based on a scenario of defending NATO, according to the Navy.
05/09/2023: Federal Foreign Minister calls for fair reforms to international organisations
Berlin(dpa) - Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for reforms to the EU, UN and the World Trade Organization in the face of global power shifts. Speaking at a conference of heads of German diplomatic missions held in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Baerbock said Germany wanted to rethink global partnerships. Germany wanted to step forward as a team player, she said, “who knows its own strengths and allows the strengths of its partners to come to the fore.”
Baerbock was speaking two weeks before the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, which she is expected to attend along with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. A fringe event in New York is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Germany becoming a member of the United Nations. The minister criticised the fact that the UN Security Council was last reformed 60 years ago, for example. Since then Germany had not only reunified, but some 60 other countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia had taken the path to independence. “These states are demanding the right to make their voices heard and to have a proper seat at the table,” she said. The same applied to international financial institutions, health committees and groups such as the G20 group of leading economic powers, Baerbock stressed, noting the example of how the African Union deserved a place at the table as a permanent member.
04/09/2023: Conference of German diplomatic missions in Berlin
Berlin (d.de) – The heads of over 220 embassies, consulates and Germany’s permanent representations to international organisations are in Berlin to discuss global developments and German foreign policy. The opening of the four-day conference with Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is expected to be joined by the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as guest of honour. The priority topic for this year’s conference is strengthening global partnerships. As is customary, the meeting which was originally known as the Ambassadors’ Conference is being held in Berlin in late summer.
01.09.2023: Baerbock calls for humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh
Toledo (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has appealed to Azerbaijan and Russia to ensure humanitarian access to the sealed-off Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. “The people in Nagorno-Karabakh must finally get what they need to live. The Lachin corridor must be freed to allow access for humanitarian aid,” said Baerbock on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Toledo, Spain. The people in the enclave were in a catastrophic situation, said the Minister. The blockade is a result of the decades-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between the South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
31.08.2023: Germany sends more Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Berlin (dpa) – Germany has supplied Ukraine with another ten Leopard 1 A5 combat tanks. It also provided 13.1 million rounds of ammunition for small arms. This is according to the Federal Government’s list of military aid to Ukraine, which was updated on Wednesday, as it is every week. The latest delivery includes a TRML-4D air surveillance radar to be used with the Iris-T air defence system. Germany also sent a field hospital to treat wounded soldiers, four heavy-duty trucks and 16 Vector reconnaissance drones. After initial hesitation, the Federal Republic is now one of the biggest military supporters of Ukraine, which has been fending off a Russian invasion for 18 months.
28.08.2023: Goethe Medal for Gaga Chkheidze, Yi-Wei Keng and the OFF-Biennale
Weimar (dpa) – The film manager Gaga Chkheidze from Georgia, the curator and dramaturge Yi-Wei Keng from Taiwan and the Hungarian curatorial collective of the OFF-Biennale will receive the Goethe Medal 2023. The medal is presented in Weimar on Goethe’s birthday: he was born in Frankfurt am Main on 28 August 1749. The Goethe Medal is an official decoration awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany to personalities “who have rendered outstanding services to international cultural exchange and the teaching of the German language”.
The justification of the award states that Gaga Chkheidze has contributed significantly to the development and internationalisation of the Georgian film scene and has worked to connect Georgia to European and international programmes. Yi-Wei Keng is one of the most important initiators of cultural exchange in Taiwan, according to the justification, and has especially been involved in networking with the German theatre scene. The justification of the award for the OFF-Biennale states that it is the largest independent event for contemporary art in Hungary, addressing current social, political and ecological issues by artistic means.
25/08/2023: Baerbock focuses on good relationships with Brics countries
Berlin (dpa) – Following the announcement of the expansion of the Brics group of countries, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledged her support for cooperation with the new members of the group of major emerging countries. Channels of communication exist between Germany and all the countries, and, with the exception of Iran, relations are generally good. Referring to her visits to South Africa, Brazil and China, Baerbock said the relationship with the new members would take exactly the same shape. “We want to cooperate with countries around the world, and naturally with those who have different points of view, because we live in a globalised and connected world,” the Federal Foreign Minister said.
Speaking at a summit of the Brics alliance in Johannesburg, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Iran, the UAE, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia would become members of the group on 1 January 2024. South Africa currently holds the chair of the group, which currently also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.
24/08/2023: Steinmeier: Germany should be a safe refuge for persecuted artists
Berlin (dpa) – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has emphasised Germany’s responsibility towards artists and intellectuals who face threats in their home countries and have to leave. “In Germany, our history lends us a particular responsibility to provide a safe home to those who face political persecution in their homelands, those whose rights are stolen, and those who must flee and go into exile,” Steinmeier said at a cultural event in Berlin.
He recalled how many people and many of the best artists and intellectuals were forced to leave their German homeland during the period of Nazi rule. “They relied on being offered protection and refuge,” he said. The Federal President had invited artists living in exile in Germany to speak about their experiences at an cultural evening at Bellevue Palace.
23.08.2023: Baerbock wants to step up cooperation with Australia
Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has urged Australia and other Pacific states to cooperate more closely with Germany and Europe. “Cooperation amplifies our voice, unity multiplies our power,” she said, alluding to Chinese policy, during a virtual speech she gave in Sydney, Australia. China has changed, “and that’s why our policy towards China also needs to change,” Baerbock said, adding that Germany and Europe want “to gain partners who choose to work with us more closely because both of us will gain from it”. In view of China’s aggressive rhetoric vis-à-vis Taiwan, the foreign minister stressed: “Any unilateral change in the status quo across the Taiwan Strait would be unacceptable.”
With reference to the climate crisis, Baerbock said that Germany, together with Australia, was supporting the Pacific island states in making their voice heard. On Saturday, Germany had opened the first German Embassy in the Pacific island state of Fiji.
18/08/2023: Lambsdorff becomes new ambassador to Moscow
Berlin (d.de) – Germany has sent new ambassadors to Kyiv and Moscow. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff presented his letter of credence in Moscow. The new ambassador spent ten years working in the Federal Foreign Office and was elected to the European Parliament in 2004, serving as its Vice President from 2014 to 2017. He represented the FDB in the Bundestag from 2017 to 2023. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which has received huge amounts of support from Germany as it defends itself, has placed great strain on German-Russian relations.
Germany’s new ambassador to Ukraine Martin Jäger presented his credentials to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv. On the occasion, Jäger posted on social media saying, “We are supporting Ukraine as it fights for freedom and independence.” The 59-year-old diplomat took over the role of ambassador in Kyiv from Anka Feldhusen in July.
16.08.2023: Minister condemns coup in Niger, speaking on behalf of Sahel Alliance
Nouakchott (dpa) – During her visit to Mauritania and Nigeria, Germany’s Economic Cooperation Minister Svenja Schulze has condemned plans to bring charges against the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum in Niger. “We want to see a peaceful path back to democracy,” she said. Speaking on behalf of the Sahel Alliance, of which Schulze is the president, she once again condemned the coup: “Peace, human rights and institutional stability are critical factors in socio-economic development. In that regard, the Sahel Alliance condemns in the strongest terms the attempt to unconstitutionally take over all powers from the democratically elected state institutions in Niger and the illegal detention of President Bazoum and his family.”
The Sahel Alliance is the most important international alliance for the financial support of countries in the Sahel region in West and Central Africa.
14.08.2023: German Finance Minister Lindner arrives in Kyiv
Kiew (dpa) – Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner has arrived in Kyiv by train for political talks. Before him, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and several ministers had also visited Kyiv. On arriving in the city, Lindner said that it was a special and moving moment for him to be in Kyiv. He explained that he had last been there in early 2020 and had got to know a country that had decided to embrace democracy and a market economy, and that he is now more convinced than ever that this is why Russia attacked Ukraine.
Ukraine has been defending itself against the Russian war of aggression since 24 February 2022. Germany is providing the country that is under attack with massive support, not only in the form of arms deliveries, but also in financial and humanitarian terms. Since 2022, Germany has made direct financial assistance of around 1.5 billion euros available to Ukraine, according to the Finance Ministry.
10.08.2023: Germany helps build bridges in Slovenia
Berlin (d.de/dpa) – Germany is stepping up aid following catastrophic flooding in Slovenia. Germany's Technische Hilfswerk (THW) is in action clearing rivers and roads and building emergency bridges. Two teams equipped with heavy machinery are already at work, and more helpers are underway bringing materials for a 30m-long emergency bridge. The bridge is to be constructed in Prevalje over the river Meza. The destruction of the bridge means people must take a 50km detour to get from one part of the town to the other. The emergency bridge consists of pre-assembled wooden and steel components weighing several tonnes, which are bolted together using a modular system. At present, 32 THW staff are in Slovenia, and the new unit consists of a further 42 aid workers, a spokesperson from the aid organisation said.
The Federal Armed Forces are also helping, with two CH53 transport helicopters from the German Air Force in action in Slovenia. According to information from the Federal Ministry of Defence, around 30 members of the Federal Armed Forces are also helping provide assistance with the catastrophe.
09.08.2023: Germany offers to extend deployment of Patriot systems in Poland
Berlin (dpa/d.de) – The German government has offered to extend the deployment of German Patriot air defence systems in Poland until the end of the year. This was announced by the Federal Defence Ministry, which said that the systems, “as part of Nato’s integrated air defence, were making a valuable contribution to protecting the civilian population and our alliance territory on the eastern flank”. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius stressed that Germany, in making this offer, was taking into account the security needs of its Polish friends. “We will continue to be at your side as a reliable partner. During my recent visit to Poland, I experienced the close cooperation on the ground between the armed forces – I saw how German-Polish relations have grown as a result of this joint project.”
Since January, the three German Patriot batteries have been deployed in Zamosc in southeastern Poland, near the border with Ukraine, with a view to protecting the country’s airspace. Originally, the Patriot systems were to be stationed there for a period of six months. At a meeting with Pistorius in early July, however, his Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak had expressed hopes of a longer deployment.
08.08.2023: Germany taking part in Amazon summit
Belém (d.de/dpa) – The leaders of South America’s Amazon region countries are meeting in Belém in Brazil to discuss the protection of the rainforest. Furthermore, the representatives of Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela want to agree to adopt a common position for the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 that will be taking place in Dubai at the end of this year. The Amazon rainforest is a carbon store that plays an important role in the international battle against climate change.
“The Amazon is the green lung of the entire region. It contains an incredible treasure trove of biodiversity and is home to indigenous communities with a huge cultural diversity,” said Niels Annen, parliamentary state secretary at the Development Ministry, who is taking part in the meeting as the German government’s representative. “We need the Amazon region to protect the global climate and environment and to preserve biodiversity. This will not be possible without the Amazon.” Germany is supporting natural conservation in the region, among other things by contributing 90 million euros to the international Amazon Fund.
07/08/2023: Federal Foreign Minister welcomes Ukraine talks in Saudi Arabia
Berlin (dpa/d.de) - Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has welcomed the talks on a peaceful solution for Ukraine which have taken place in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. “Every millimetre of progress towards a just and fair peace brings a little more hope for people in Ukraine,” she said in an interview. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has set out a decisive pathway through his peace formula, Baerbock said. At the heart of the new formula is a call for the withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory. Baerbock stressed that Jeddah was sending out a signal that the Russian war of aggression was also affecting people in Africa, Asia and South America.
Representatives of around 40 countries took part in the meeting on the Red Sea. Along with Ukraine, they included the USA, China, India, South Africa and Germany. Russia, which has been waging war against its neighbour for over 17 months, was not invited. As expected, there was no official final statement to the meeting after several hours of discussions.
04.08.2023: Federal Armed Forces fly EU citizens out of Niger
Berlin (dpa/d/de) – A Federal Armed Forces cargo plane has flown 32 people out of Niger. The A400M aircraft landed in the early hours of Friday morning at Wunstorf Air Force base in Lower Saxony with 32 passengers on board, including 10 Germans and 22 citizens of other EU countries. Nine of the Germans were soldiers who were leaving the country as part of a personnel handover in the UN Blue Helmet mission in Gao in Mali and the EU’s EUMPM military mission in Niger.
The Federal Armed Forces had received permission on Thursday to use one of the military transport planes already located at the base for the flight to Germany. Prior to this flight, French aircraft brought around 60 German citizens out of the country following the military coup against the democratically elected President Bazoum. On the subject of the military coup, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reiterated that, “We remain firmly convinced that only a democratic government can find long-term answers to the many challenges which the country faces. After all, where military forces seize power, they do harm to their country.”
03.08.2023: Baerbock thanks France for evacuation flights
Berlin (dpa/d.de) – France’s evacuation flights have so far enabled more than 40 Germans to leave the West African country of Niger after the military coup. “There will be more flights today. I would like to thank my French counterpart Catherine Colonna most sincerely for this,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, adding that straightforward and pragmatic cooperation of this kind in times of crisis showed what Europe was capable of achieving in foreign and security policy when action was coordinated. “With precisely this solidarity and determination, we as the European Union also support international efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger,” said Baerbock.
After the military coup, Germany suspended its direct support payments to the West African country as well as bilateral development cooperation. In taking these measures, the Federal Government is acting in political unison with EU partners and the African Union.
02.08.2023: Schulze takes over patronage of the "1000 Schools" programme
Berlin (d.de) – The new patron of the "1000 Schools for Our World" initiative is Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze. The initiative was set up five years ago by associations of cities, local government, municipalities and parishes in Germany. Through the initiative, cities, municipalities and parishes work with local citizens and businesses to collect donations for school construction projects in the Global South. The project follows the principle that education reduces poverty, overcomes gender inequalities and can improve prospects at a local level. Over the past five years, almost 230 school construction projects have been launched. Representatives of associations of local government said: “Education means giving children a future, giving people a chance of work, a chance of staying in their homes and being free to shape their lives as they wish.” Federal Minister Svenja Schulze said: “Without education you cannot have equality, democracy or self-determination. This is particularly true of girls and young women. In many parts of the world, schools do even more than this: they are places of safety, security and hope.”
01.08.2023: Defence Minister Pistorius visits Cyber Unit
Rheinbach (d.de) Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited the military’s Cyber and Information Domain Service (CIR) in Rheinbach near Bonn. There, the minister took a detailed look at the capabilities of the Cyber Unit and emphasised its importance to the Federal Armed Forces. “As the eyes, ears and central nervous system of the armed forces, CIR provides capacity in command and communications,” he said. He also noted that these capacities were of vital importance at every interface “at every stage of the chain, from a data centre in Germany to a deployable command post in Lithuania, for example, and even a Leopard battle tank right on the front line.”
27.07.2023: Morgan stresses need for G20 to take responsibility for fighting climate change
Berlin (d.de/dpa) – Germany’s special representative for international climate policy has called on the international community to step up its efforts in the fight against climate change. Speaking at the G20 environment and climate ministerial meeting in Chennai, Jennifer Morgan said “We need fundamental change, not just going on with things as they are.” Federal Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke is representing Germany at the meeting in Chennai in south-east India, which is known for its port and carmaking industry. “As major economies, the G20 bear a unique responsibility for showing the way and protecting the world against even more damaging consequences of climate change,” Morgan said.
Environment Minister Lemke has called for the group of leading industrial and emerging countries to make a clear commitment to sign up to an agreement against plastic change. India currently holds the G20 presidency. Germany’s Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck and Labour Minister Hubertus Heil have also recently visited the world’s most populous country.
26.07.2023: Germany sharpens focus on climate protection in exports
Berlin (d.de) – The Federal Government wants a stronger focus on climate protection in the area of exports. It intends to use government security for export credits (known as ‘Hermes Guarantees’) as the means to this end. New guidelines are aimed at using these guarantees to promote exports of green technologies. In turn, technologies which harm the climate will no longer be guaranteed. The government intends to hold consultations with industry associations and trade unions before putting the plans into action.
The government uses Hermes Guarantees to protect German companies from political and economic risks. The exporting companies pay premiums and if they do not receive payment, the Government steps in to cover a corresponding part of the loss. In 2022 the Federal Government used export credit guarantees to protect goods and services worth €14.9 billion. In principle, all businesses and banks based in Germany can access export credit guarantees.
25.07.2023: UN Food Systems Summit
Berlin (d.de) – The Federal Government is using the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome to campaign for changes to make the world’s food and agriculture systems more sustainable. Jochen Flasbarth, Germany’s Secretary of State from the Development Ministry, will represent Germany at the conference. The Government also sees local, climate-adapted agriculture as a way of countering Russia's weaponisation of blockading grain supplies from Ukraine.
If Russia's President Vladimir Putin weaponises grain, the international community must respond with a policy for food security, Flasbarth said. He stressed that this meant much more than just emergency aid. “If we are to become more resistant to blackmail in the long term, we need to break out of this cycle of emergency aid and put in place lasting structural changes,” he said. In concrete terms, he said, this means “reducing our dependency on fluctuating global wheat and fertiliser markets and boosting local, climate-adapted farming in our partner countries.”
In September 2021 UN Food Systems Summit also called for concerted action to achieve all 17 UN sustainability goals by transforming food systems. The meeting in Rome is the first follow-up conference.
21.07.2023: Baerbock announces new EU sanctions against the Taliban
Brussels (d.de/dpa) – Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that the EU is imposing sanctions against representatives of the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan. Those affected included ministers who are responsible for preventing women and girls from leaving home or going to school, Baerbock said at a fringe event during a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. She said that these were the most serious violations of human rights, and that the world could not simply look on and accept them.
Following their return to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the Islamic militant Taliban have closed girls’ schools above the 7th grade. Most recently, beauty salons have been ordered to close. This strips Afghan women of one of their last opportunities to earn a living. The punitive measures imposed by the EU in response to human rights violations allow for assets to be frozen. In addition, those targeted by the sanctions are no longer allowed to enter the EU. The new sanctions affect two government ministers and a senior judge.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council is responsible for the EU’s foreign policy activity. This includes foreign, defence and security policy, trade, development partnerships and humanitarian aid. It usually meets once a month.
20.07.2023: EU discusses additional aid for Ukraine
Brussels (d.de/dpa) – German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will hold talks in Brussels with EU foreign ministers on long-term support for Ukraine following the invasion by Russia. Joined via video link by Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, the ministers will discuss the current situation in Ukraine.
The agenda for the last regular meeting of EU foreign ministers before the summer break also includes EU relations with Turkey following the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Germany hopes for the chance of a rapprochement following several difficult years. The talks will also include a discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken via video link.
19.07.2023: Germany at UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
Berlin (d.de) – Two secretaries of state are representing Germany at the high-level element of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meeting is taking place under the auspices of the halfway point for Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which was adopted unanimously by all 193 UN member states in 2015. Through the agenda, the international community has signed up to 17 goals for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development, with the aim of achieving these by 2030. Bettina Hoffmann from Germany's Environment Ministry and Bärbel Kofler from the Development Ministry are representing Germany at the HLPF. The German position aims to boost national and international efforts so that the implementation of Agenda 2030 can still succeed despite crises and conflicts in the second half.
19.07.2023: Germany at UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
Berlin (d.de) – Two secretaries of state are representing Germany at the high-level element of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meeting is taking place under the auspices of the halfway point for Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which was adopted unanimously by all 193 UN member states in 2015. Through the agenda, the international community has signed up to 17 goals for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development, with the aim of achieving these by 2030. Bettina Hoffmann from Germany's Environment Ministry and Bärbel Kofler from the Development Ministry are representing Germany at the HLPF. The German position aims to boost national and international efforts so that the implementation of Agenda 2030 can still succeed despite crises and conflicts in the second half.
18.07.2023: Scholz expects EU-Mercosur agreement soon
Brussels (d.de/dpa) - Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz expects a free trade agreement between the EU and the South American trading bloc Mercosur to be finalised soon. He was speaking at the EU-Latin America summit in Brussels. Scholz described the third summit between the EU and CELAC countries from Latin America and the Caribbean as a helping “the world to stick together better overall.” After years of negotiations towards a free trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), a political agreement in principle was reached in summer 2019. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Spanish EU Presidency echoed Scholz in expressing their hope that the agreement could be signed within six months.
17.07.2023: Scholz attends EU-CELAC summit in Brussels
Berlin/Brussels (d.de/dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz will take part in the third summit of EU, Latin American and Caribbean countries in Brussels on 17 and 18 July. Scholz will hold talks with over 50 leaders from the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean on trade agreements, support for Ukraine and developing the partnership to strengthen peace and sustainable development. This is the third EU-CELAC summit, which will be held every two years in future. Another key topic for the discussions is to be the planned free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). The agreements have been on hold since negotiations were concluded in 2019. The agreement would create the world’s largest free trade area, with 780 million people. It aims to boost trade by removing customs duties.
14.07.2023: Federal Government adopts China strategy
Berlin (d.de/dpa) – The Federal Government has adopted the first ever comprehensive China strategy for Germany which aims to provide structure and direction to the complex relationship. According to the Federal Government, the strategy defines a new framework in which Germany can protect its interests while also living up to its global responsibilities. Germany would continue to work towards good and transparent cooperation with China, but it would also address difficult issues, the government said. Through the strategy, Germany was showing “that we’re realistic but not naive,” said Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We’re setting out tools and ways for Germany, at the heart of Europe, to work with China without putting at risk our free democratic foundations, our prosperity and our partnerships with other countries around the world.”
13.07.2023: New chapter in cooperation with Latin America
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Development Ministry (BMZ) plans to cooperate even more closely with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in future. Development Minister Svenja Schulze said that the focus was on a just, socially and environmentally sound transformation of the economy, strengthening the rights of women and girls, and promoting good governance, peace and democracy. She presented the concept with Roberto Jaguaribe, the Brazilian ambassador and spokesperson for the Latin American countries in Berlin. “Without the countries of Latin America, we will not be able to tackle global problems such as climate change. Now is a good time to begin a new chapter in our partnership – because once more, the majority of the governments we work with in the region share our values and goals,” said Schulze.
12.07.2023: CBFP agriculture conference in Cameroon
Berlin / Jaunde (d.de) – A conference of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) on transhumance in the Cameroonian capital Jaunde is looking for solutions to the conflict between farmers and shepherds in the Sahel region and its southern neighbours. Secretary of State for Development Jochen Flasbarth is representing Germany, which holds the presidency of the CBFP. “Transhumance underpins the livelihoods of millions of people and has done so for generations,” he said. “It can work in an environmentally sustainable way but in recent years the herds have grown bigger and bigger. Land and ecosystems are suffering as a consequence. At the same time, competition with settled farmers is growing, which can lead to conflict.” He welcomed the fact that representatives of farmers, shepherds and politicians were working together to find a solution to the conflicts which are in part due to climate change. Germany has held the presidency for three years and will hand the role over to France after the conference.
12.07.2023: Talks with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia
Berlin (d.de) – Minister of State for the Federal Foreign Office Tobias Lindner is travelling to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia for policy talks. A key issue on the agenda are the ongoing peace negotiations to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “It is a matter of great personal importance to me to maintain the momentum of the EU and US-led peace talks, which have been particularly strengthened by German and French engagement,” Lindner said. “Just before the next round of high level talks in Brussels arranged by the EU (...) I intend to use my trip to call for a willingness to compromise.” Lindner also plans to discuss Georgia’s prospects of EU membership and the necessary reforms, and also how civil society can be strengthened in the South Caucasus.
11.07.2023: Scholz meets Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad
Berlin (d.de) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz met the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad for talks in the Chancellery in Berlin. Their conversation included the attack by members of the Islamic State terror militia on the Sinjar mountains in August 2014, according to a Federal Government spokesperson. The attack marked the beginning of IS atrocities against Yazidi people. Germany’s support for refugees and displaced persons from the Sinjar region in Iraq includes helping them return to their homeland. The Federal Chancellor reiterated Germany's ongoing support for the international coalition against IS. Scholz and Murad also discussed the significance of how sexual violence is employed in conflicts.
07.07.2023:Germany pledges 2 million euros to the OSCE Climate Fund
Berlin (d.de) – Ahead of the climate conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Germany has prompted the creation of an OSCE climate fund and pledged up to 2 million euros. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said: “The climate crisis has hit OSCE countries right across the continent with full force. It does not respect national borders and threatens all our security. That’s why it is important for the OSCE as a security organisation to take up the issue of the climate.” Baerbock also stressed the importance for the OSCE of including countries in Central Asia and their desire for a connection to Europe. Germany had recently committed an additional 3 million euros for OSCE projects in Central Asian countries.
The OSCE has 57 member states in Europe, Central Asia and North America. The German diplomat Helga Maria Schmid has held the three-year post of OSCE Secretary General since the end of 2020.
06.07.2023: Baerbock welcomes EU Global Gateway infrastructure programme
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has welcomed the EU’s Global Gateway initiative which assembles global infrastructure partnerships with democratic values and sustainable standards. “In the contest between different systems it is not enough to make good arguments for our liberal-democratic model,” Baerbock said. “We must also show other countries that we as the EU can make better offers: transparently, as equals and without oppressive contracts.” Through the Global Gateway programme the EU is investing in infrastructure in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean. The Federal Government is supporting the European Commission with delivering the programme.
05.07.2023: Scholz and Biden speak ahead of NATO summit
Washington (dpa) - A week before start of the NATO summit in Lithuania, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone to discuss preparations for the meeting. The White House said on Tuesday that the call had covered a range of issues which the heads of state and government would discuss at the summit, including ways of further strengthening the military alliance.
The Federal Government said that Biden and Scholz had also discussed Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. According to Berlin, the Federal Chancellor and US President agreed to continue closely coordinating support for Ukraine following the invasion, and that support would go on for as long as was necessary. The NATO summit is taking place in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
04.07.2023: Germany extends support for Moldova
Berlin (d.de) – Germany will extend its support for the Republic of Moldova when it comes to dealing with the consequences of the Russian war of aggression, strengthening the country economically and implementing reforms on the path to EU membership. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is making a further 45 million euros available for the next two years. This brings the support made newly available by the Ministry to Moldovia since the start of the Russian war of aggression to around 160 million euros in total. “Moldova is still seriously affected by the effects of the Russian war of aggression. The country is simultaneously coping with an energy crisis caused mainly by Russia, taking in Ukrainian refugees and driving forward central reforms,” explained Parliamentary State Secretary Niels Annen during a visit to the capital Chişinău.
03.07.2023: Germany hands over presidency of Council of the Baltic Sea States to Finland
Berlin (d.de) – Germany has handed over the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States to Finland. The impact of the Russian war of invasion against Ukraine had dominated Germany’s one-year presidency. Russia left the Council in May 2022. The central issues addressed during the German presidency year included clearing munitions dumped in the Baltic Sea and expanding offshore wind energy. The aim is to increase offshore wind power output sevenfold by 2030. The CBSS comprises the Baltic Sea coastal states of Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, as well as Iceland, Norway and the European Union.
30.06.2023: Baerbock calls for clear withdrawal mandate for UN mission in Mali
Ulan Bator (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for a clear withdrawal mandate for what is likely to be the end of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in the West African country of Mali. It was vital to secure a “withdrawal mandate that takes into account the safety of both the people and the soldiers,” Baerbock said during a visit to Mongolia. In the UN Security Council in New York, the Federal Government was lobbying for an orderly withdrawal, said the Minister. The mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been in place since 2013 and is now coming to an end. The expectation is that the UN Security Council will vote on the withdrawal of the UN Blue Helmets in the near future.
29.06.2023: Baerbock seeks to promote feminist foreign policy in Mongolia
Ulan Bator (d.de/dpa) – Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants more women to be involved in international crisis management missions in the future. “Where people all have equal rights and opportunities, everyone stands to benefit,” she said before leaving for Ulan Bator for a meeting with female foreign ministers from Asia, Africa and Europe. For years, Mongolia has been one of the countries that sends the most women on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Baerbock said. The meeting of female foreign ministers is being hosted by Batmunkh Battsetseg (Mongolia) along with Baerbock and Catherine Colonna (France). By advocating the concept of feminist foreign policy, Baerbock aims to involve women more than before in conflict resolution mechanisms for international crises. Batmunkh Battsetseg has proposed three subjects for the meeting of female foreign ministers: the role of women in promoting peace and security, climate change and food security.
27.06.2023: Germany stages “Policies against Hunger” conference
Berlin (d.de) - From 27 to 28 June, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is staging the international “Policies against Hunger” conference in Berlin. The goal is to jointly transform the agricultural and food systems with a view to ensuring that the fundamental human right to food can be achieved for everyone. According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the number of those suffering from acute hunger has doubled since 2020 – to 345 million people in 79 countries. 43 million people in 51 countries are at risk of famine. The consequences of the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity and Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine are driving food insecurity. The key topic at the conference, which is “Human rights-based approaches to food systems transformation”, combines the goals of higher production and better distribution of foods with the aim of upholding human rights. The conference has been organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since 2001.
Meanwhile, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth is taking part in the WFP Executive Board meeting in Rome. Contributing around 1.7 billion euros in 2022, Germany is the second-largest donor to the WFP. Flasbarth will also speak with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). With the FAO he is agreeing on a project to support in particular young, female and indigenous leaders in partner countries.
26.06.2023: Germany to permanently station 4,000 soldiers in Lithuania
Vilnius (dpa) – Germany plans to permanently send around 4,000 additional Bundeswehr soldiers to Lithuania to strengthen Nato’s eastern flank. “Germany is ready to permanently station a robust brigade in Lithuania,” said Defence Minister Boris Pistorius during a visit to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. He added that this would require the necessary infrastructure to be established to accommodate the troops, as well as training opportunities. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government had promised in June 2022 to have a brigade of combat troops ready to defend Lithuania in case of an attack. Until now, however, it had been unclear whether the soldiers would be permanently stationed in Lithuania.
26.06.2023: Baerbock embarks on shortened visit to South Africa
Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is embarking on a visit to South Africa that has been cut short to one day because of the power struggle in Russia. She first wanted to attend a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. The ministers are exploring the consequences that the power struggle between private army chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian President Vladimir Putin could have.
How to deal with Russia is likely to play a central role in the talks in South Africa. Baerbock was planning to conduct bilateral talks with her colleague Naledi Pandor in Pretoria and also chair a meeting of the German-South African Binational Commission, which was established in 1996 and convenes every two years. Cooperation in the areas of green hydrogen and the dual vocational training of skilled professionals is to be discussed, among other things.
23.06.2023: Baerbock stresses importance of international peacekeeping missions
Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has paid tribute to the international peacekeeping missions undertaken by German women and men, describing them as a contribution to peace and security. The overarching work done by the civilian peacekeepers, together with those from the police and Bundeswehr, serve as a role model for the government’s activities in the area of security – across departmental boundaries, Baerbock said at the ceremony to honour civilian experts, police officers and soldiers on the “Day of the Peacekeeper” in Berlin.
Freedom is precious, freedom is vulnerable, security cannot be taken for granted – this is what the peacekeepers experience every day during their work in crisis regions, said Baerbock. “German contributions to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations or EU are and remain an important instrument of integrated security policy,” she asserted. Germany currently has nearly 2,100 people taking part in international peacekeeping missions, including a good 290 women. On the Day of the Peacekeeper, nine of them were honoured for their services.
22.06.2023: German Chancellor Scholz travels to Paris to attend finance summit
Paris (d.de/ dpa) – Representatives of more than 100 states are meeting in Paris at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to make the financial system more solidarity-based. Besides Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the guests include EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, China’s Prime Minister Li Qiang, World Bank President Ajay Banga and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. International financial institutions and development organisations will also be taking part in the two-day summit. The meeting is expected to issue guidelines on how to overcome the growing rift between the industrialised states and the countries of the Global South, which are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change.
22.06.2023: Germany honours peacekeepers
Berlin (d.de) – On its national “Peacekeeping Day”, Germany is honouring nine civilian experts, police officers and soldiers for their commitment – on behalf of the roughly 2,100 individuals engaged in international peacekeeping missions. This year’s ceremony, which will focus on “Women, Peace, Security”, will be hosted by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (both SPD) in the Bundestag. Inspired by the “International Day of UN Peacekeepers”, Germany’s “Peacekeeping Day” was initiated in 2013 to pay tribute to German personnel deployed in peacekeeping missions. In total, almost 190 civilian experts, around 1,850 soldiers and nearly 60 police officers are currently involved in international missions – and 290 of them are women.
21.06.2023: Germany welcomes agreement on marine protection
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has praised the UN agreement to protect the oceans. The “UN High Seas Treaty is of historic importance for the global protection of the oceans. The high seas cover almost half of the surface of our blue planet. For the first time, the agreement now makes comprehensive and legally binding protection possible for these territories that lie beyond the sovereignty of individual states,” Lemke said. “We can now also establish globally binding marine protected areas on the high seas for the first time. This is central to the survival of countless species and, above all, to us humans.” The UN member states had adopted the High Seas Treaty in New York on 19 June 2023.
20.06.2023: Germany to provide 200 million euros in emergency aid for Sudan
Geneva (d.de/ dpa) – At a donors’ conference for Sudan, which has been badly hit by unrest and fighting, Germany has pledged 200 million euros in emergency humanitarian aid. 100 million euros of this total is new funding, said Katja Keul, the minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office. At the donors’ conference in Geneva, UN organisations received pledges totalling almost 1.5 billion dollars (1.37 billion euros). This was announced by United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths in Geneva. UN aid organisations expect more than 3 billion dollars to be needed to help the people in the country this year. According to the UN, 24.7 million people in Sudan – roughly half of the country’s population – require humanitarian assistance.
19.06.2023: German Interior Minister Faeser visits Tunisia
Tunis (dpa) – On the second day of her visit to Tunisia, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is meeting with President Kais Saied and her Tunisian counterpart Kamel Fekih. The talks will focus on deepening cooperation in matters relating to economic migration, general migration issues and the fight against terrorism. Faeser is visiting Tunisia together with her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin. Previously, Faeser had stressed that the migration agreement planned by the German government was a good form of cooperation. The German government had already signed such an agreement with India at the end of 2022, with Georgia and Moldovia set to follow in the near future.
15.06.2023: Global social security discussed at conference in Berlin
Berlin (d.de) – Around four billion people around the world have no access to social security. Together with the World Bank, Germany is now intensifying international efforts to establish and expand social security systems. “Social security nets are a worthwhile investment. Social insurance will help us finally break out of the cycle of crises. It is not only a safeguard but also a way of preventing crises,” said Germany’s Development Minister Svenja Schulze. To this end, the World Bank and the German Development Ministry have invited high-ranking representatives of partner countries, international organisations, development banks and civil society to Berlin to talk about new concepts of global social security.
15.06.2023: “The UN and us” youth conference at the German Foreign Office
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk are welcoming 300 young people aged between 15 and 25 from all over Germany to a youth conference in Berlin entitled “The UN and us. Young people shaping the global future”. The two-day meeting is being jointly hosted with the United Nations Association of Germany. Global issues, crises and the consequences of social and technological developments are to be discussed at the conference.
13.06.2023: Schulze praises G20 for steps towards gender equality
New Delhi (dpa) – At their meeting in India, the development ministers of the leading industrial and emerging economies (G20) have voiced support for pushing forward with the implementation of global Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and hunger by 2030. They also stressed that sustainable development was not possible without gender equality, saying that women and girls should be strengthened in all areas, from schools and healthcare to female entrepreneurship, the question of land rights, social security systems and the fairer distribution of care work. Development Minister Svenja Schulze commented that this realisation has now sunk in for the first time in the G20 group. “Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are a matter of human rights, but they are also common sense. After all, they result in better development,” said the minister. In her view, this signal is urgently needed ahead of the half-time Agenda 2030 summit in New York in September. “India has succeeded in achieving a good outcome in a difficult geopolitical constellation,” said Schulze.
As the key outcome of its G20 presidency, India hopes to adopt a Green Development Pact at the leaders’ level in September.
12.06.2023: Scholz and Duda visit Macron for three-way summit
Paris (dpa) – The French President Emmanuel Macron will be receiving German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda for a three-way summit in Paris on Monday. The main topic of the meeting at the Élysée Palace will be the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, further support for Kyiv and preparation for the Nato summit in July, which is important for Ukraine. Another topic will apparently be humanitarian assistance, especially following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam. Furthermore, the summit is to discuss long-term security guarantees that could be granted to Ukraine to enable it to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The three-way meetings between Germany, France and Poland are known as the Weimar Triangle because this discussion format was established in Weimar in 1991. Initially, its main goal was to bring Poland and other Eastern European states closer to the European Union and Nato.
09.06.2023: Baerbock supports energy cooperation in Colombia
Cali (d.de/dpa) – During a visit to Colombia, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has voiced support for a closer energy and climate partnership with Latin America’s fourth-largest country. “Colombia has enormous potential to become a heavyweight in renewables and green hydrogen,” the minister said following a meeting with Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez in the city of Cali.
In the evening, Baerbock presented Márquez with the Prize for Women’s Rights and Democracy of the German-Latin American-Caribbean women’s network “Unidas”. The 41-year-old human rights and environmental activist has been awarded the prize for her services to the rights of women and Afro-Colombians, and to the fight against illegal mining. Baerbock said that Márquez embodied the “battle for equality that we are pursuing together” and that the prize-winner was a role model for feminist foreign policy in Germany, giving a voice to millions of women.
07.06.2023: Baerbock appeals for partnership of democracies in Brazil
São Paulo (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has offered Brazil a partnership of democracies in view of the global challenges. “Let us shake hands and together shape a future that will benefit us all,” Baerbock said during a speech in the Brazilian business metropolis São Paulo. She said that sustainable trade relations that benefited all sides, the battle against unilateral dependencies and joint efforts to contain the climate crisis were crucial. Baerbock and Germany’s Labour Minister Hubertus Heil had been invited to give speeches on the subject of democracy by one of Latin America’s leading think tanks, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).
06.06.2023 : Flasbarth at UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi
Berlin (d.de) – Liveable cities are an important success factor in the fight against marginalisation, poverty and climate change, stressed Jochen Flasbarth. The state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is representing Germany at the second assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat, which is taking place in Nairobi. One central topic at the meeting is urban development as an engine for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. In this context, Flasbarth said: “Urbanisation is a mega trend of the 21st century. It often leads to additional challenges on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The densely populated cities in the Global South are frequently affected by poverty, violence, inadequate infrastructure and environmental pollution.” He added: “Whether we succeed in resolving the major global issues will be decided chiefly in cities.”
05.06.2023: Preparatory negotiations for international climate change conference in Bonn
Bonn (dpa/d.de) - Six months before the next international climate change conference in Dubai, ten-day interim preparatory negotiations are set to begin in Bonn. The Special Representative for International Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, Jennifer Morgan, says she is seeking to build a “broad coalition for an ambitious global climate policy so that we can make groundbreaking decisions in Dubai that will enable us to take a major leap towards a climate-friendly, sustainable and therefore better world”. At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) from 30 November to 12 December, the global community is to take stock of its climate efforts to date and measure them against the targets agreed on at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.
02.06.2023: Scholz and Macron seek de-escalation in northern Kosovo
Bulboaca (dpa) – On the sidelines of the European Political Community summit in Moldova, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have held talks aimed at easing tensions in the conflict that has escalated again in northern Kosovo. “We have had intensive talks with Kosovo and Serbia,” Scholz said after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Vjosa Osmani, the president of the Republic of Kosovo. He explained that he himself, but also Macron and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, were very keen to de-escalate tensions.
The situation in the Serb-populated northern part of Kosovo has been causing great concern in the EU and Nato for days. Kosovo, which nowadays is populated almost exclusively by Albanians, had declared itself independent in 2008. To this day Serbia refuses to acknowledge this and is demanding the return of its former province.
01.06.2023: Germany supports protection of Congo Rainforest in Cameroon
Berlin (d.de) – Germany will in future provide Cameroon with more support with protecting the rainforest in the Congo Basin, an ecosystem that is particularly important for the global climate and rich in biodiversity. The area also plays a key role as a source of income for the local population. Germany’s Development Ministry (BMZ) has pledged around 20 million euros to fund protective measures. BMZ State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth said that in this region Cameroon’s forest was “the last remaining area of rainforest that still absorbs CO₂ on a net basis and also features unique biodiversity”. At the same time, millions of people live in and earn their livelihoods from the forest. He stressed: “Protecting the forest has three-fold benefits, in other words: it protects the climate, it preserves biodiversity and it secures incomes for the local population.”
Cameroon’s south forms the western fringes of the huge Congo Basin Rainforest. Around a quarter of the tropical rainforests that remain worldwide are to be found in the Congo Basin. However, the forest is shrinking, mainly due to uncontrolled deforestation for energy production and the creation of new fields and plantations.
31.05.2023: Four Russian consulates in Germany must close
Berlin (d.de) – The German government has revoked the licences of four of Russia’s general consulates in Germany. They will now have to close by the end of the year. This is Germany’s response to the recently announced restrictions on German government officials in Russia. Moscow had announced on Saturday that it had introduced “an upper limit for the number of personnel at German representations abroad and German cultural organisations”, namely a maximum of 350 persons. The decision will mean that several hundred German officials, such as diplomats, teachers and staff of the Russian branches of the Goethe-Institut, will have to leave Russia.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry said that the Russian government had “taken a step of escalation”, explaining that the closure of the consulates was a reaction to Moscow’s order and that this would create a “parity of personnel and structures”. Furthermore, Germany will shut its consulates in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, though the German embassy in Moscow and the consulate in Saint Petersburg will continue operating. A minimal presence of cultural staff – at German schools and branches of the Goethe-Institut, for example – will be maintained. The personnel limit ordered by Moscow necessitated the closures, the ministry’s spokesperson said.
31.05.2023: Germany condemns anti-homosexuality law in Uganda
Berlin (d.de) – Germany has strongly condemned the new law against homosexuals in Uganda. Development Minister Svenja Schulze said: “The anti-homosexuality law in Uganda violates fundamental human rights to which Uganda has committed itself and which are enshrined in the Charta of the African Union.” She stated: “Same-sex love is not a crime.” Luise Amtsberg, the federal government commissioner for human rights policy and humanitarian assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, said: “The anti-LGBTQIA+ law has been passed in Uganda despite the international community’s campaign for it not to be signed. The law represents a massive violation of the fundamental human rights of queer people. Every individual has the right to live in safety and to freely develop their personality and thus to live how they want and love whom they want. It is right that Germany is now expanding its solidarity and support for the LGBTQIA+ community in the country, to protect them and their work.” Amtsberg went on to say that Germany will do everything it can “to offer the best possible protection to activists who are in acute danger”. In addition, she believes that German funding for Uganda should be reviewed to ensure “that it does not bolster any anti-LGBTQIA+ forces in Uganda”.
30/05/2023: Federal Foreign Office condemns clashes in Kosovo
Berlin (d.de) – The German Foreign Ministry condemned the attacks of Serbian protesters against the international peacekeeping force KFOR. “We most strongly condemn the unacceptable violent attacks that happened in Northern Kosovo his afternoon, and in which dozens of KFOR/NATO soldiers and a number of civilians were hurt. Our thoughts are with the injured individuals who we hope will recover very soon,” it says in a statement. The peacekeeping force reported that 30 KFOR soldiers, including 19 Hungarians and 11 Italians, suffered injuries such as broken bones and burns. 53 Serbs were injured, according to the hospital in the nearby city of Mitrovica. The Federal Foreign Office calls for “all violence and all activities that would give rise to further tension to be stopped immediately. De-escalation of the situation is urgently necessary. We are calling on Kosovo and Serbia to enter into talks to this end without delay, and to further work towards implementing the agreement on the path to normalisation drawn up in February in March, also with regard to the Association of Serb Municipalities.”
The protests in Northern Kosovo with its almost entirely Serbian population are directed against the appointment of new mayors that had been elected in April and who are members of Albanian parties. The elections had been boycotted by the vast majority of Serbs.
26.05.2023: Scholz offers German assistance with Cyprus negotiations
Berlin (dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has offered Germany’s assistance to revive reunification negotiations between the two parts of Cyprus. “Germany stands ready to help rebuild trust among all involved,” said Scholz following a meeting with Nikos Christodoulides, the new president of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU member. “And if so desired, we will be happy to support the process of negotiations,” he said.
In the aftermath of a Greek putsch and military intervention by Turkey, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was split into two parts in 1974, one Greek-dominated and the other Turkish-dominated. The buffer zone between the two parts of the island is monitored by UN Blue Helmet forces. The Republic of Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but discussions to overcome the division have been on hold since 2017.
25.05.2023: Germany to support water sector in Palestinian territories
Berlin (d.de) – Germany will once again be supporting the Palestinian water sector, including in the West Bank. This is one outcome of the government negotiations on German-Palestinian development cooperation. Roughly 1.8 million people across the country will benefit in particular from the construction of sewage treatment plants and support with desalinating sea water. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has pledged a total of around 125 million euros for the next two years. The objective of Germany’s development cooperation support is to improve living conditions for the population and establish a future Palestinian state. Besides water projects, support for job, training and study opportunities, especially for women, was agreed during the government negotiations. Germany also openly addressed the overdue parliamentary and presidential elections and the difficult situation of Palestinian civil society, however.
24.05.2023: Bundeswehr ends earthquake assistance in Turkey
Altinözü (dpa) – Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, is ending its assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and withdrawing from the town of Altinözü. In the Turkish earthquake region not far from the city of Antakya, a team of around 140 has been operating a field hospital in cooperation with Turkish personnel. For a long time the Bundeswehr’s field hospital was the only place in the region to offer surgical operations, says Kai Schlolaut, contingent commander and a colonel in the medical corps. The tents, which were arranged like tunnels, contained among other things an operating theatre, X-ray diagnostic equipment, a pharmacy, 25 beds, three intensive care beds, a kind of accident and emergency area and a waiting room. Around 100 patients were treated there every day. The Bundeswehr’s field hospital had previously been used in Mali and Afghanistan.
23.05.2023: Global Women’s Forum for Peace & Humanitarian Action 2023 begins
Berlin (d.de) – The three-day Global Women’s Forum for Peace & Humanitarian Action 2023 has begun at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. In staging the event in cooperation with the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), Germany’s foreign office is honouring women-led civil society organisations working for peace, reconciliation and humanitarian aid under the most difficult conditions in crisis and conflict regions around the world. The forum will see representatives of around 150 civil society organisations from 33 countries share their experiences and knowledge about their engagement. Furthermore, it offers a unique opportunity to strengthen international strategic collaboration between the organisations. The conference opened with a video message by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and, on behalf of the hosts, Minister of State Anna Lührmann.
20.05.2023: Baerbock at meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be meeting her EU counterparts in Brussels on Monday for a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. A variety of topics are on the agenda. One central point is the question of how the EU can become more capable of international action. In many cases, the fact that all decisions on foreign and security policy have to be approved unanimously by all 27 member states is seen as an obstacle to this. Germany wants to change this principle and draw up proposals for a new procedure together with its partners.
Other topics include support for Ukraine in its defence against the Russian war of aggression, especially financial support via the European Peace Facility. The situation in the Horn of Africa is also to be discussed, as is the situation in Sudan. The ministers will adopt the eighth sanctions package against Iran for human rights violations in the brutal oppression of its own people. Furthermore, the foreign ministers of the six Western Balkan countries will be guests at an informal meeting to discuss questions of the EU accession process.
17.05.2023: Baerbock in favour of UN mediation in Yemen civil war
Jeddah (dpa) – Germany is pushing for a UN process to resolve the years-long civil war in Yemen. Following a meeting with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that a truce brokered by the United Nations was the prerequisite for a “lasting and stable peace”. “To achieve this, all parties must be involved.” She also said it was essential that states in the region support the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg. According to the German government, 67 percent of Yemen’s population is reliant on humanitarian aid. That is around 21 million people, roughly 11 million of whom are children. Baerbock spoke of “one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises”.
16.05.2023: Chancellor stresses cooperation with Global South
Berlin (d.de) – At the Global Solutions Summit 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has placed the emphasis on equal cooperation with the countries of the Global South. He said that the issues of climate protection, migration and poverty reduction posed “enormous challenges” for the international order. At the same time, however, the potential for equitable global cooperation has “never been greater”. The countries of Asia, Africa and America “expect representation on an equal footing,” said Scholz. This must be reflected in the distribution of seats in international organisations as well as in the trade policy of the European Union.
More than 1,000 international participants from politics, science and business gather at the Global Solutions Summit to discuss global challenges and make proposals to policymakers. The recommendations are addressed primarily to decision-makers in the G20, G7 and other international organisations.
Chancellor Scholz has invited African states to come to Berlin on 20 November to advance the G20’s “Compact with Africa” initiative. Its goal is to stimulate economic growth in Africa.
15.05.2023: Baerbock on trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar
Berlin (dpa/d.de) – During a three-day visit to the Gulf region, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock plans among other things to push for peaceful solutions in Yemen and Sudan. “The Gulf region is a geopolitical pivot between Asia, Africa and Europe whose influence extends far beyond the Arabian Peninsula,” Baerbock said before departing for Saudi Arabia and Qatar. She announced that she also intended to talk about human rights, saying that dialogue also involved “looking each other in the eye on issues where our positions are far apart”.
12.05.2023: Bundestag pays tribute to founding of the State of Israel
The German Bundestag has held a debate to pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was also in parliament for the occasion. The State of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948. President Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already honoured the state’s foundation in April, emphasising the close relations between Germany and Israel. “For Germany, our responsibility for the State of Israel derives from our history,” said Steinmeier. “We are deeply grateful for the gift of reconciliation that Israel has granted us.” Scholz also stressed: “Today we are full of gratitude as we look at the close and special relations between our two countries – in politics and business, in science, culture and society.”
11.05.2023: Support for Madagascar with expanding renewable energies
Berlin (d.de) – Germany wants to provide Madagascar, which is particularly affected by climate change, with greater support with expanding solar and hydroelectric power plants. At governmental negotiations in Berlin, the German Development Ministry pledged around 30 million euros to improve the supply of energy on the world’s fourth-largest island. “Expanding solar and hydroelectric power in Madagascar is a great opportunity to produce electricity in an inexpensive and decentralised manner,” explained Parliamentary State Secretary Bärbel Kofler, adding that Germany is also helping Madagascar with setting up power grids to transport the electricity to the villages.
10.05.2023: Make better use of seas as “treasure for green energy”
Berlin (dpa) – At a meeting with European partner states, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has stressed how important offshore wind power is for the energy transition. The sea is “a treasure we all share, but also a treasure we can make better use of: a treasure for green energy,” Baerbock said at a Wind Forum with European partners in Berlin. “The European Commission estimates the capacity for wind power in the Baltic Sea to be more than 93 gigawatts. That is the equivalent to the output of around 90 average-sized nuclear power plants.” Guests at the Wind Forum included the Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Olavi Haavisto. Together with other states in the region, Germany plans to expand offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea.
09.05.2023: Scholz and Macron help mediate in the South Caucasus
Brussels (dpa) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron want to help ease tensions in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to European Council President Charles Michel, the two top-level politicians will take part in a discussion with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the next summit meeting of the European Political Community on 1 June. This is to follow a tripartite meeting that Michel will be hosting in Brussels on 14 May with the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The two South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been engaged in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades.
08.05.2023: More help for Turkish earthquake victims
Berlin (d.de) – The German government is extending the option for Turkish earthquake victims to remain with their relatives in Germany by three months until the beginning of August. This was announced by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. “True friendship becomes evident at times of greatest need – and this also applies between Germany and Turkey,” declared Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stressed that Germany had organised massive assistance on the ground following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February, but that it was also about supporting those who had lost everything. “That is why we made it possible within a very short time for people to stay with close relatives in Germany, to find some peace and quiet here, and to be cared for by their own families.”
05.05.2023: End of Bundeswehr mission in Mali
Berlin (dpa) – After nearly eleven years, the Bundeswehr’s participation in the UN Blue Helmet mission in Mali in West Africa is set to end on 31 May 2024. Germany’s Federal Cabinet decided that the 1,100 soldiers stationed there would be withdrawn by this date. If the Bundestag also gives its approval, the currently largest foreign deployment of the German armed forces will be history in one year’s time. The German government now wishes to restructure its engagement in the Sahel region south of the Sahara. Civilian support for the region is to be deepened and security cooperation is to be concentrated on Niger, Mauretania and the states on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The Bundeswehr is still training soldiers in Niger.
04.05.2023: Chancellor Scholz departs for Africa trip
Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has departed for his second major trip to Africa as head of government, during which the focus will be on regional conflicts, renewable energies and also the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Scholz will first be visiting Ethiopia, where he will also meet representatives of the African Union that 55 African states have joined. He will then travel on to Kenya. In May 2022, very soon after taking office, Scholz had travelled to Africa for the first time, visiting the German Army troops in Niger, Senegal in West Africa, and South Africa, the continent’s only G20 member.
03.05.2023: German-Pakistani agreement on climate protection
Berlin (dpa) – Germany is offering Pakistan the prospect of 120 million euros to improve climate protection in the Asian country and to mitigate the impacts of climate change. This was agreed by German Development Minister Svenja Schulze and Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman on the sidelines of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. According to a statement, the money will be used to better protect against flooding, to expand renewable energies and to provide social security benefits in the event of climate damage. “Where social safety nets are in place, people get back on their feet again more quickly,” explained Schulze.
02.05.2023: Scholz highlights importance of immigration for the labour market
Koblenz (dpa) – On International Workers’ Day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted the importance of immigration for the German labour market. At a rally staged by the German Trade Union Confederation on May 1st, Scholz said that the German government was ensuring “that those who we need as workers here in Germany also have a chance in a regular way”. He added that the new Skilled Immigration Act was important in this context because it would ensure the future of the economy while securing jobs and the system of pensions and social insurance. The planned reform aims to make it easier for foreign skilled workers to come to Germany.
28.04.2023: Baerbock shocked at death sentence for German-Iranian
Salzburg (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has expressed shock at the Iranian judiciary’s confirmation of the death sentence against the German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd. At a meeting of the five German-speaking foreign ministers, Baerbock said that the German ambassador in Teheran would now protest to the authorities there, the Iranian ambassador having already been summoned. “As the Federal Republic of Germany, we continue to do everything we can for Mr Sharmahd in Berlin, but also in Teheran.” She called on Iran once again to reverse the “absolutely inacceptable” and arbitrary sentence, saying that the 68-year-old had at no time had even the semblance of a fair trial. The Supreme Court in Iran had upheld the controversial death sentence against Sharmahd on Wednesday.
27.04.2023: German-African learning platform for girls launched
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Development Ministry (BMZ) and the Education Alliance of German SMEs (Bildungsallianz des Mittelstands) have launched a project that will allow girls in Africa to acquire better training in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. The open atingi digital learning platform, which is free of charge, enables virtual programming and remote control of computer-operated machines in Germany. The platform is also intended to foster networking and cooperation between teachers in Germany and Africa. “Anyone with a good knowledge of mathematics, computer science, technology and natural sciences will have good chances on the employment market. We know that strong girls and women result in the better development of entire societies,” says German Development Minister Svenja Schulze, talking about the new project.
One first pilot project of the new cooperation are so-called FabLabs: open virtual workshops in which cutting-edge production techniques can be demonstrated and tried out.
26.04.2023: Germany’s President Steinmeier congratulates Israel
Berlin (d.de) – In a video message, Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has congratulated Israel on the 75th anniversary of its independence on 26 April 2023. “When Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel 75 years ago, the Jewish people finally gained a homeland, finally gained their own state – after centuries of violence, persecution and displacement, of rampant antisemitism, after the betrayal of all civilised values that was the Shoah, the most heinous crime in the history of humanity, committed by Nazi Germany,” said Steinmeier. The federal president expressed his deep gratitude for the “gift of reconciliation that Israel has granted us”. He closed with the words: “For our friendship, we must do both: ensure remembrance and shape the future. Mazel tov!” For the first time, the German Air Force will also be taking part in a fly-past to celebrate the anniversary. The aircraft will be flown by Chief of the German Air Force Ingo Gerhartz. The wings of the jet are decorated with the German and the Israeli flags. (with dpa)
25.04.2023: Minister of State Lührmann in Slovenia
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s minister of state for Europe and climate at the Federal Foreign Office, Anna Lührmann, is visiting the Slovenian capital Ljubljana for talks. “Slovenia is an important and close partner with which we have many ties,” Lührmann said at the start of her trip. The talks in Slovenia will focus on the close German-Slovenian cooperation in the European Union. Besides joint support for Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, the talks will primarily address cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkan, questions of enlargement, institutional reforms in the EU, the rule of law and joint efforts to protect the climate.
24.04.2023: Steinmeier stresses German-Canadian friendship
Ottawa (d.de) – During a visit to Canada, Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has underlined the importance of the close relations between the two countries, saying that Germany and Canada have enjoyed a good friendship for decades. “But the recent geopolitical changes, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the conflict between China and the West,” Steinmeier said, have increased the importance of relations. “If we say, looking back, that we knew in the past that we liked each other, then now we know that we need each other more than ever.” Trade will be facilitated by the Ceta agreement that the Bundestag ratified in December. It is intended to promote business between companies in the EU and Canada by removing nearly all tariffs and establishing common rules. (with dpa)
21.04.2023: Demand for human rights defenders to be released in China
Berlin (d.de) – The foreign ministries of Germany and France have demanded the release of human rights defenders who have been sentenced and arrested in China. “We are appalled by the sentencing of human rights defender Xu Zhiyong and lawyer Ding Jiaxi to 14 and 12 years in prison respectively, as well as by the arrest of lawyer and winner of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights Yu Wensheng and his wife Xu Yan,” announced spokespersons of the Federal Foreign Office and the French Foreign Ministry. “We call for their immediate release and for an end to the repressive measures against human rights defenders.”
20.04.2023: Baltic Offshore Wind Forum on 9 May in Berlin
Berlin (d.de) – Under its presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), Germany, together with Denmark, will host the Baltic Offshore Wind Forum on 9 May 2023 in Berlin. Offshore wind power can make an important contribution to energy independence. To take full advantage of this potential, the Baltic Sea states are keen to step up their cooperation on the expansion of renewable energy sources and the necessary infrastructure. Furthermore, energy security in the Baltic Sea region is facing new challenges because of Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.
With its forum “Energy Security in the Context of Europe’s Changing Geopolitical Landscape”, Germany is providing a platform for key stakeholders in both the public and the private sector, as well as for civil society. The forum will bring together representatives from the entire Baltic Sea region and will be organised jointly by the Federal Foreign Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the German Energy Agency (dena). The hosts will be Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) is an intergovernmental organisation of ten member states and the European Union that was founded in 1992 as the result of a German-Danish initiative.
19.04.2023: German Chancellor Scholz visits Portugal
Berlin (d.de) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting Portugal and will meet with Prime Minister António Costa in the capital Lisbon. Their talks are expected to focus on current issues in European and economic policy, as well as on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
14.04.2023: German government welcomes World Bank’s reform steps
Berlin (d.de) – There has been broad support at the World Bank Spring Meetings for a fundamental reform of the World Bank. The objective of the reform is for the bank to be better able to support developing countries in overcoming global challenges such as climate change. Initial measures are to be implemented immediately, enabling the World Bank to grant a total of 50 billion dollars in additional loans over the next ten years. The reform had been initiated in the autumn by German Development Minister Svenja Schulze and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Niels Annen, state secretary at the development ministry and Germany’s representative at the meetings, said: “The goal of fighting poverty will continue to guide the World Bank’s actions – but anyone wishing to successfully tackle poverty also has to take climate change, pandemics and other global crises into account these days.” He called for further “substantial reform steps” by the Annual Meetings in October.
14.04.2023: Germany condemns North Korea’s missile test
Berlin (d.de) - The German government has condemned “in the strongest possible terms the recent illegal launch of a long-range ballistic missile by North Korea”. A statement said that the testing of a long-range ballistic missile, which is suspected to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, is “a further blatant violation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, increases the tensions in the region in an irresponsible manner and endangers regional and international peace.” The German government urges North Korea to refrain from carrying out further tests and to implement the decisions of the Security Council.
13.04.2023: Pistorius and Schulze in Niger and Mali
Berlin (d.de) – Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and Development Minister Svenja Schulze visit the Sahel countries Niger and Mali. The two members of the government stated clearly that Germany would continue to live up to its responsibility towards the Sahel region even after the planned withdrawal of the Federal Armed Forces from Mali. They landed on Thursday in Gao, where the Federal Armed Forces maintains a central base belonging to the UN mission MINUSMA. German involvement in the mission is to end by May of next year. More than 1,100 men and women of the Federal Armed Forces are currently stationed in Mali as part of the UN mission. At the same time, Germany is seeking to enhance its engagement in the Sahel region from a development policy perspective. The successful cooperation that already exists with the security forces in Niger is to be strengthened.
13.04.2023: Germany sees initial progress in connection with World Bank reform
Washington (d.de) – Germany sees initial progress in the envisaged reform of the World Bank towards a stronger commitment to climate action. At the Spring Meetings of the World Bank in Washington, the Development Ministry reported that the financial strength of the Development Bank was to be increased by 50 billion dollars over the next ten years.
Development Minister Svenja Schulze initiated the reform together with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The goal is for the bank to provide better support for developing countries to invest in climate action. Up until now, its main task has been to lend money cheaply to poor countries in order to strengthen their economies and reduce poverty. In the view of the German head of delegation at the meeting, State Secretary Niels Annen, the reform steps agreed on to date are not yet sufficient. “In order to achieve the necessary socio-ecological restructuring of the global economy, the world needs a real transformation bank,” said Annen in Washington. (with the dpa)
12.04.2023: Germany’s Foreign Minister Baerbock to visit China
Berlin (d.de) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be travelling to the People’s Republic of China for her inaugural visit from 13 to 15 April. A meeting in Beijing is planned with her Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, whose invitation she has accepted. In addition, she is expected to hold talks with China’s most senior foreign policy official Wang Yi and with Prime Minister Li Qiang. Baerbock will also meet with representatives of the German business community. Josep Borrel, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and vice-president of the EU Commission, will be in Beijing for talks at the same time as Baerbock.
12.04.2023: German Environment Minister Lemke visits Fukushima
Berlin (d.de) – Before attending the meeting of environment ministers of the G7 states in Sapporo, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke is visiting the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. At various commemorative sites she will talk to those affected by the 2011 tsunami catastrophe and local actors. A visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is also scheduled. In Germany, the disastrous tsunami and its consequences for the Fukushima nuclear power plant had prompted Angela Merkel’s government to phase out nuclear energy.
11.04.2023: Human rights commissioner travels to Ethiopia and South Sudan
Berlin (d.de) – Luise Amtsberg, the German government’s commissioner for human rights policy and humanitarian assistance, is visiting Ethiopia and South Sudan. Prior to her departure, Amtsberg said: “Although the weapons have fallen silent in northern Ethiopia, the people there are still suffering. Efforts to address the human rights violations that have taken place are only just beginning. I am therefore travelling to Ethiopia, following the joint visit by Foreign Minister Baerbock and her French counterpart Colonna in mid-January, so that I can learn more about the progress of the peace process and the National Dialogue to address human rights violations, as well as the challenging situation facing women and girls in the country.” She added that the German government remained a reliable partner for Ethiopia, including in the sphere of humanitarian assistance.
Afterwards, Amtsberg will visit South Sudan, the world’s youngest state, explaining that she wants to focus attention on one of the forgotten crises of our age. She said: “The country is still ravaged by conflict and violence. I will hold talks and visit projects on the ground to gain an overview of the difficult human rights situation as well as the significant humanitarian need in the country.”
04.04.2023: Baerbock condemns anti-personnel mines
Berlin (d.de). – To mark International Mine Awareness Day, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has stressed the outlawing of land mines: “Anti-personnel mines are atrocious weapons. They are the reason why mothers and fathers in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia and Iraq still have to fear for their children every time they go outside to play, even decades after a conflict.” Baerbock called on Russia to “cease its reckless widespread mining of agricultural land” in Ukraine. Germany is a signatory to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty and is the world’s second-largest funder of humanitarian mine clearance.
04.04.2023: Germany and Jordan want to revive peace process
Berlin (dpa) – Germany and Jordan want to work together to get the Middle East peace process moving. After talks with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Aiman al-Safadi in Berlin, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced on Monday that a meeting with Jordan, Egypt and France would soon be held to this end in the German capital.
03.04.2023: German government commissioner visits Yazidis
Berlin (d.de) – To see the situation of Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq for himself, the German government’s commissioner for freedom of religion or belief, Frank Schwabe, has visited Baghdad, Erbil and Dohuk. The trip focused on issues of reconstruction and resettlement in Sinjar, the main settlement area of the Yazidi minority that was mercilessly persecuted by IS. “Germany stands firmly by the side of the Yazidis. Together with the Iraqi government and the Kurdish regional government, we want to ensure that reconstruction and resettlement are driven forward in Sinjar,” Schwabe said.
03.04.2023: German Chancellor Scholz visits Romania
Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has visited Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, and Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Bucharest. The talks will initially focus on European, security and energy policy. At a subsequent tripartite meeting, support for Moldova will be discussed.
29.03.2023: AA condemns ban on political parties in Myanmar
Berlin (d.de) - The military junta in Myanmar has banned the National League for Democracy, the party of Nobel laureate and former head of government Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as 39 other parties. Germany’s foreign ministry has condemned this further “blatant example of [the military junta’s] contempt for its own people” and their desire for freedom: “We condemn the conduct of the junta, which is acting without any basis in democracy and the rule of law. The dissolution of the parties is further evidence that the elections announced by the regime would be a farce and would not be safe, free or fair under the current conditions. Germany calls on the military in Myanmar to put a stop to the violence, especially the attacks on civilians and the brutal repression against the opposition, without delay and to release all political prisoners.”
28.03.2023: Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue opened
27.03.2023: Government travels to Netherlands for consultations
Berlin (d.de). – The governments of Germany and the Netherlands are meeting for the fourth time, this time in The Hague. Joint projects are to be discussed during the course of the German-Dutch government consultations. Three topics will take centre stage: climate action and energy security, innovation and digitisation, and security and defence policy in view of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Germany and the Netherlands share a 567-kilometre border, the two countries are important trading partners within the European Union, and both are popular with one another as holiday destinations. With very few other countries does Germany have such close and trust-based relations as with the Netherlands, be it on the economic and political level or indeed on the military and cultural level.
26.03.2023: Germany supports “Silencing the guns”
Berlin (d.de) – Katja Keul, minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office, is travelling to the United Nations in New York to support the initiative “Silencing the guns”. Keul said: “How this UN initiative on small arms control can be effectively implemented will be the subject of an open debate in the UN Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa hosted by the Mozambican presidency. It is particularly important to me that we fight not only the symptoms but also the causes of violence and conflicts together with our African partners. For us, this also means linking our stabilisation projects and development policy even more closely with each other and with African initiatives.”