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Germany’s central role at the UN Summit of the Future

Together with Namibia, Germany is chairing the negotiations for the United Nations Summit of the Future in September 2024. 

Germany’s Foreign Minister Baerbock at UN consultations in New York
Germany’s Foreign Minister Baerbock at UN consultations in New York © picture alliance / photothek

Global crises, climate change, continuing poverty and hunger in many states - the challenges facing the United Nations are considerable. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 still serve as the guidelines for action, with concrete responses and progress expected from a UN Summit of the Future in September 2024. One central role at this Summit of the Future will be played by Germany, which together with Namibia is preparing for and will chair the negotiations.  

What is the Summit of the Future?
The UN Summit of the Future scheduled to take place on 22 and 23 September 2024 is an important date within a years-long process. It began in 2020, when the United Nations celebrated its 75th anniversary. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the member states turned to UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The heads of state and government asked him to “identify the gaps in the existing multilateral system and give recommendations for future solutions,” says the permanent representative of Germany to the United Nations in New York, Antje Leendertse.  

Guterres responded by presenting “Our Common Agenda” in 2021, a wake-up call for the global community that places the emphasis on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in particular. He also called for a Summit of the Future to be held. “Now the ball is back in the member states’ court to forge a common pact for the future by September 2024,” says Ambassador Leendertse. 

What role does Germany play in the UN’s reform process?
Together with Namibia, Germany has assumed responsibility for guiding the entire process. Irrespective of the UN Summit of the Future, the German government is committed to reforms in the United Nations, among other things in the UN Security Council. “The last time it was reformed was 60 years ago. Since then, not only has a reunited Germany been formed but around 60 states have gained their independence. In Africa, in Latin America, in Asia. These states are rightly demanding to have their say and an appropriate seat at the table,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.  

At the Conference of the Heads of German Missions in Berlin in September, the minister stressed the fundamental importance of international cooperation. Talking about Germany’s role, she said: “We don’t want to be a status quo power. We want to further develop the international order - by listening carefully to the concerns of our partners.”