On the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Angela Merkel hit a critical note. The Chancellor warned against going it alone – and called for reforms.
On the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) took a critical note and complained about a lack of community spirit. Too often, the UN “must not live up to its ideals because the interests of individual members prevent the regulatory system from functioning properly,” Merkel said Monday. “But anyone who thinks they can do better alone is wrong. Our well-being is shared. And so are our suffering.”
In a video address, Merkel cited the corona pandemic as an example of “that global problems across national boundaries and at all levels require understanding and cooperation.” In the end, the United Nations could only be as good “as members agree,” the Chancellor said in her speech, which, along with video messages from many other heads of state and government, was broadcast at UN headquarters in New York. .
“We need reforms”
The Chancellor also complained that the UN Security Council – the main body of the United Nations – is too often “blocked” when it comes to clear decisions. “We need reforms,” warned the Chancellor. “The United Nations must evolve to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.”
French head of state Emmanuel Macron was also critical of the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago. “Our common home is in disarray,” Macron said in his video message. “The foundations are hollowed out, the walls sometimes crack under the blows of those who built it themselves.”
Criticism of US President Trump?
Even if Merkel did not name countries like Russia and China, like US President Donald Trump, both her and Macron’s statements could be interpreted as criticizing Trump. The right-wing populist is a harsh critic of multilateralism and international organizations and relies on the motto “America first”. In the dispute over how to deal with the corona pandemic, he leads the United States out of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Trump himself did not record a video message for the ceremony in New York. Instead, an American diplomat delivered the speech. However, a video speech by the president is scheduled during the week-long general debate of the UN General Assembly starting Tuesday. Trump will be one of the first to speak.
The United Nations was established in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations to promote international cooperation and avoid conflict after World War II. Today 193 states belong to it.
Antonia Guterres, Secretary General of the UN and Volkan Bozkir, Chair of the General Assembly shortly before the start of the ceremony: Due to the corona pandemic, the event took place digitally. (Source: Eskinder Debebe / United Nations / AP / dpa)
The official birthday is October 24, 1945; the anniversary ceremony has already taken place prior to the general debate. The motto was “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our common commitment to multilateralism”.
At the beginning of the ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres complained that there are currently too many “multilateral challenges and a lack of multilateral solutions”. He said, “Nobody wants world government – but we have to work together to improve world governance.”