Vienna, 22 January 2020: On the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty and the day of the entry into force of the Treaty of Aachen, the German and French Mission to the United Nations organized a panel discussion on the Alliance for Multilateralism. The event was well attended by some 150 participants including numerous ambassadors.
Allianz für Multilateralismus auch in Wien mit frischen Ideen und Willen zur Zusammenarbeit. Engagierte Staaten und Institutionen bilden ein flexibles Netzwerk, um regelbasierte internationale Ordnung zu verteidigen, zu gestalten und zu reformieren. https://t.co/LRhgwjBfyg pic.twitter.com/YHljxgmNp5— Susanne Baumann (@GERMANYonUN) 22. Januar 2020
Special guest was Ms. Susanne Baumann, Commissioner of the Federal Government for Disarmament and Arms Control and Director-General for International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control of the Federal Foreign Office. Ms. Baumann explained the genesis of the Alliance’s and its aims. The rules-based order of the United Nations and other multilateral fora has brought Germany and Europe peace, prosperity and stability. Yet multilateralism today, 75 years after the foundation of the United Nations, is increasingly under pressure. In reaction to this, the Alliance had been founded to maintain and strengthen the rules-based international order, with a focus on strengthening and reforming the United Nations and its organizations. The upcoming 75th anniversary of the United Nations provides an opportunity to endorse the values of the UN-Charta. For the Vienna-based international organizations, the Alliance could focus on implementing the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Baumann presented the current six initiatives of the Alliance and stressed the need to involve civil society in its work.
„Multilateralism counts, because the world does not need more lone fighters, but team players“ – Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas
The panel session was moderated by Martin Nersirky, Director of the United Nations Information Service UNIS. Also participating were Ambassador Gerhard Küntzle, his French counterpart Ambassador Xavier Sticker, and the Permanent Representatives of Jordan and Mexico to the United Nations, Ambassador Leena Al-Hadid and Ambassador Alicia Buenrosto Massieu. Mr. Li Yong, Director General of the United Nation Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, emphasized the contribution of his organization to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Numerous participants and especially many of the ambassadors present took part in the subsequent discussion. Besides some sceptical voices there were also many positive contributions and suggestions on how to strengthen multilateralism. The topic of the panel session was therefore focused on the significance of the Alliance for Multilateralism for Vienna-based international organizations, and the special feature of UN cooperation in Vienna called „Vienna Spirit“, marking the willingness of delegates to work towards a consensus even on difficult topics. The panelists also explored specific initiatives which could be launched within the framework of the Alliance. In addition to much support for the Alliance, the discussion also revealed that the term multilateralism is sometimes interpreted differently. Misunderstandings were also cleared up about the Alliance wanting to introduce its own new rules of conduct parallel to the international legal system.
In the margins of the discussion, Ms. Baumann met with the new Director General of the IAEA, Mr. Rafael Grossi, and the Director General of UNIDO Mr. Li Yong.
🇩🇪 MFA UN DG Susanne Baumann explains raison d'être of the Alliance for #Multilateralism:— Germany UN Vienna (@GermanyUNVienna) 22. Januar 2020
Strengthen 🌍 cooperation, int'l organizations (esp @UN) from within & rule of law, in an inclusive way, open to civil society.#MultilateralismMattershttps://t.co/V9enFsy17u pic.twitter.com/fPLch2i8hx