Politics: solving conflicts peacefully

A sought-after mediator in international conflicts: how Germany intends to expand this role.

Krisenprävention: Grundprinzip deutscher Außenpolitik
Getty Images/Steffi Loos

Germany in the UN Security Council

Recognizing conflicts and defusing them before they escalate – that is a maxim of German foreign policy. Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UN) in March 2018, the Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas advocated a security policy based on crisis prevention:
 

  • prevention instead of intervention,
  • dialogue instead of confrontation,
  • disarmament instead of build-up.
     

Thus Maas set the cornerstones for Germany’s engagement as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019/2020.

German history gives rise to a special responsibility for peace.

Guidelines of the Federal Government for Crisis Prevention

Germany's guidelines for crisis prevention

In 2017 the Federal Government published new guidelines for Germany’s peace policy. They closely interlink diplomacy, the police, the German armed forces and civilian experts. The common goal: resolving conflicts and securing long-term prospects for people. Military operations remain the last resort. The special feature is that the guidelines provide a stimulus for a broad social debate about Germany's global engagement, which will be continued on the PeaceLab Blog.

Guidelines “prevent crises, manage conflicts, promote peace

Peace mediation

Whether in Ukraine, Afghanistan or the Western Balkans, “Germany enjoys a worldwide reputation as an honest mediator and broker”, emphasizes Almut Wieland-Karimi, Managing Director of the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF). Mediation is therefore an important foreign policy instrument. The ZIF is part of the initiative Mediation Support Germany (IMSD). It trains and provides mediators for multilateral peacekeeping missions.

Women and peace

Equal rights serve peace: Germany wants to promote UN Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” in the Security Council. It is intended to protect women from violence in conflicts and to integrate them equally into peace negotiations. “Women can and must play an active role in conflict prevention and peacekeeping, in reconstruction and reconciliation”, said Federal Foreign Minister Maas at the conference of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network, chaired by Germany in 2018.

Peace Building Fund

In 2017 Germany contributed some $ 26 million to the Peace Building Fund 7 and is currently the second largest contributor to the Fund, with which the UN finances more than 120 projects in 25 countries.

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