tv Quadriga - Germany Joins the Security Council But Is the UN Broken Deutsche Welle January 11, 2019 7:30am-8:01am CET
discovered. subscribe to the documentary on you tube. following a very warm welcome indeed to the first edition of quadriga in twenty nineteen and it's the new year get some the way germany house alongside four other countries become a norm permanent member of the united nations security council now there are high expectations about what germany can achieve but two year stint on the council comes at a very difficult time with the devastating ongoing conflicts in both syria and in ukraine
the u.n. is also gravely divided chronically underfunded and my it in inefficiency not to mention the aggressive challenge posed by us president donald trump to the rules based international order on which the u.n. is built so a question here on quadriga this week is germany joins the security council but is the u.n. broken and to discuss that question i'm joined here in the studio by three astute observers and analysts beginning with gunter lojka who was germany's ambassador to the u.n. between two thousand and two and two thousand and six he ses and increasingly interdependent world we need the un is the only organization that can find global solutions and set new international law goals with us is crystal from marshawn chief diplomatic correspondent for the berlin based daily to childish legal who argues that being nice is not enough for germany must show that it can exercise pressure to achieve its goals. and a very warm welcome. two hundred shallow senior correspondent with the reuters news
agency and travel leaves that the united nations has longstanding institutional problems that have been magnified by don't trumps american first policies but she maintains it will survive. well thank you all three for being here today on couric about to begin with you ambassador ploy who has you who you've served at the united nations for four years a couple of years ago just tell us what the mood is like at the united nations of the moment it seems that it's the worst it's been for a long time well i think the united nations has always struggled with certain inefficiencies that emanate from its structure but it is certainly. been successful in many cases just to give you one example i remember when in two thousand and four the buy a lens broke out again in height the on
a sunday morning the president of the security council called the members and said we will have a meeting at four o'clock this afternoon by seven o'clock we had taken all the necessary decisions and by ten o'clock in the that day two airplanes with french and american soldiers airborne on their way to haiti so that's possible too but on the other hand right now of course the u.n. is in a particularly difficult position because not only because of trumps policy but because we are troubled in practically all corners of the world and the un can solve these problems only was a corporation of the member states and without the member states cooperation the u.n. is powerless let me just come in on the on the through the challenge to the united nations if you so well posed by the us president donald trump andrea when he was
still president elect in two thousand and six he said when do you see the united nations solving problems they don't they cause problems do you agree. you know i think the united nations has. a problem in that if it isn't properly represented i mean look most of the countries of the world don't you know we only have five permanent members of the security council so there's been a lot of calls for that structure to be revamped to increase the representation if you don't if you have a body that purports to speak for the whole world but but there are many countries that are not represented that creates these kind of imbalances that we see and i say you know yeah i think the u.n. i would say is trying to solve problems but often unintentionally or use an exaggeration of magnifies the problems that are magnificent of the united nations how does he make me for the problems whether it's of offending of offending for operations is very heavily weighted to the united states when the united states pulls out its funding of programs like the u.n. d.p.
or the. organization what happens is that those imbalances become much more evident so he sort of you know used to basically the you know unilateral actions that the united nations is taking and the rejection of the u.n. structures are in fact kind of we you know revealing these problems that have been there all along. christopher marshall you are one of those who say that the united nations is a good idea in principle but the reality is something completely different tell us about that troubling reality well the united nations con be more democratic and more rules based than its member states are and the majority of member states are dictatorships or at least of tory tarion regime see democracies in the states of law are in the minority and that of course limits the possibilities of the united nations to be what they are supposed to be which is somehow the current or of a rules based welt order and this is
a special challenge to germany germany is used to put the and. point on diplomatic. on diplomatic solutions and also being nice and talking people into solutions and if we have partners which just don't agree on that and say well if you block a certain solution it's much better for us than germany's not up to the task and that's i think what germany has to do now it has to show that it's not only able to be nice but also to apply pressure it's the fourth biggest economic country however the world so we have a lot of pressure even without taking military action we can put pressure on member states and we should do that and unfortunately the first what the federal government said i'm so now as they see their role in the security council doesn't point into that direction it's more of being nice again what needs to change well our foreign minister for example that he want to put the focus on climate change on
the role of women in conflict and on diplomatic preemption of conflict that is all nice and fair but it's not enough means a real big problem how do we deal with ukrainian law or crisis how do we deal with china's behavior in the chinese seas putting pressure how do we deal with huge humanitarian crisis and civil unrest in yemen in sudan wherever you look and that you can't just solve by talking nicely and trying to persuade the bill do worse to behave a little bit better you have to put pressure on those regimes and you have to stand up against china and russia in a certain way and i don't see that willingness until now in the german timo diplomacy and i think to go to follow up that we have to make sure that the trial is being recognized and and we do speak
out if things are going wrong for example. remembers iran. agreement that was an agreement worked out by five member states and it was adopted by the security council by a unanimous vote so at that time it became international law because a decision of the security council and the article twenty five of the trial is binding not all member states that means it has become international now you cannot you can this draw from a treaty but you cannot raise drole from international law and we have to make this sure that it is known all over and also in the security council ok never heard about this point i can well i was just going to say you know germany keeps saying it wants to play a bigger role in the world and you know there's deep skepticism about whether it
will ever make that promise. true because it keeps saying these things you know since twenty fourteen at the munich security conference we've heard the same mantra over and over again we're hearing it now from heiko must and the question is how exactly does germany plan to do that and so i was just you know struck the skepticism is present not just internationally but here in germany as well and what has to probably happen is that there has to be a title shift in terms of education of the german public because one of the biggest barriers to germany. you know being more powerful is that it doesn't carry a big stick so it has economic might but it won't engage in military action that it won't do that because of massive political resistance in germany but the times are changing ok we'll talk about our point in just a minute but first of all christopher christopher from marshall what. to what
extent is the veto power of the p. five of the hearts of many of the problems that face the you know it's a patients of the security can. so you know of course that is a very. powerful measure which they can take and of course i would say when i when i advocated for germany putting pressure also on china or on russia that wouldn't mean that we can overcome as a veto of china or for of russia but we can feel lets them feel the consequences for the time being russia for example just made it impossible to talk about your korean crisis in the security council and in the u.n. should we agree to that should we just let it happen say oh well we can't do anything about it we could also tell them you know we have a lot of economic possibilities what to do with you if you don't agree that at least we can discuss these problems with you and these steps should be taken i also have no illusions that china will change its behavior in the seas or when it comes
to trade politics or whatever but we can let them pay a certain price if sea misbehave at this willingness has to emerge so it's not only about the military stick it's also about using or economic power as the economic power stick and for the time being in germany is a normal reaction as well you know we don't want to let that business go it's much better to play nice with china or to have our energy contracts with russia and we never seriously talk about that because change this kind of politics ok let's stay on the veto because there is a loss you saw the greatest number of vetoes in the security council since nine hundred eighty nine mostly over syria the impact as we see now has been tragic. the images shocked the world victims of an alleged chemical attack on duma new damascus many of them children. and the international community frozen
moscow used its veto power in the un security council to defend a sad sad regime against western interests sanctions investigations cease fire agreements all blocked in the russian ukrainian dispute over the status of the crimean peninsula as well the u.n. could offer little more than symbolic support. as feared russia and the u.s. stopped any productive resolution from getting underway. the u.s. has also made active use of its vetoing privileges towards the end of twenty seventeen it blocked a resolution for decides in trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital now the american embassy is moving from tel aviv to jerusalem. what good is the security council with vetoing power. deployed there is the security council being reduced to a blocking shop. to a certain extent yes because of the vetoes of the five. members who have
right over the tow and whenever their interests are involved you know they tend to to block a decision but on the other hand i think we should not discuss whether we could have bought us a veto because that's not possible because the veto cannot be removed unless you have a change of the trotta and it trained of the top needs a two thirds majority in the turn of the assembly that means that the security council is frozen in time it's frozen right back to the end of the second world war was stuck there forever and that is the problem is that the train drove the truck removing the vitol would require. the as the consent of the p five that's put in the fatah so it's in vain to discuss whether we could abolish the veto but what we can do with that i agree is christopher we can put pressure and by
good arguments. you mentioned already the case of ukraine i mean the situation there is that the two agreements that have been worked out in the. in minsk have been made international goal by a unanimous decision of the security council now. why not send a un mission including the p five and for presented to of the p five to ukraine to the ukraine as a whole not just to the west and ukraine and if we for example would suggest that. the russians might veto that but if they do that they would prevent the implementation of their own decisions in the security council and thereby lose a lot of credibility so this is a. kind of seeing how we could put pressure on the security council to take every
reason that before fission. what perspective do you see from broadening the representative nature of the security council well i you know i think that there there is a possibility of some kind of a race that we have you know anytime that there's a change in the structure of the security council you have an opportunity for new conversations we have a u.s. president that is going to be increasingly limited by the democratic majority in the house he's facing a lot of pressure at home china is facing economic pressure russia's facing economic pressure the pressures on those permanent security council members are increasing outside of even what can be done diplomatically just economically and that will create a different environment it creates opportunities and i agree i think germany could play a really good and positive and constructive role if it stands up and really speaks
with one voice germany's had a very dysfunctional couple of years elections governments infighting perhaps too that will change now with new leadership at the c.d.u. level. i believe it's skeptical because it's not only a question of the political leadership it's also a question of the public debate in germany and at the moment still this public debate is very much dominated by all these happy talking ideas about pacifism about playing nice and we don't have a real open debate that sebald is a dangerous place that you should have that you have national interest that you should also admit that you have national interests and that every country is fighting for its national interests and we should do so and we should also have no illusions about european unity in some cases we have european union and others not so we have to to play in this play box and we have to analyze very. sorely where we can achieve alliances and where we condoms and we have to go for it
and we should also not be afraid to talk about see dysfunctionality of see united nations where it is dysfunctional and not being afraid that somehow destroy see the whole idea and germany have been too idealistic picture of the united nations as if this would be as well to government and the representation of a rule of law all over the world and then we have had. instances like libya being at the head of the human rights council and we had tehran being at the head of the women's rights council and also and now when i was yemen's the head of c denuclearization called the examples where you see it's absolutely ridiculous but it's sometimes ridiculous and that we should admit and on the other hand we should try to use the united nations where it can be constructive and we have to do something in order to make it more constructive i think we have
a good chance to do this in the coming two years in the security council because as you know we will soon have a. treaty number two with france and that means that we can join all hands with france in the security council and in the un in general to push things ahead and i think i can say from my own experience when i was best at it was the united nations in two thousand and three in the security council the then french ambassador myself we've made a promise to go together in every case nobody would go without nobody would do anything against the other and we would always take joint action and that's it that has of course a certain effect because. it makes it easier to. the majority of the nine votes
in the security council to come to a decision and it is also then together was france is to get a blocking minority of first seven votes so that the other side cannot get the nine votes necessary for a decision so i think there is a good chance that in these two years we will make our influence felt together as friends thank you for those optimistic observations of the un currently has fourteen peacekeeping operations in crisis regions mostly it's about maintaining a tenuous peace between two or more conflict parties here are just two examples of the challenges that the blue helmets face. half of the un peacekeeping missions are in africa one is in mali fifteen thousand u.n. soldiers and civilian workers including several german aides are there to support the twenty thirty in peace agreement between the government and rebels since then war hasn't officially broken out but violence hasn't ended. terrorist
attacks still occur the u.n. mission to mali and the new smart is one of the most deadly so far over one hundred u.n. personnel have been killed the u.n. observer mission the golan heights was long considered a quiet job. that is until the syrian civil war erupted suddenly the buffer zone between israel and syria was swarming with rebels terrorists and the syrian army. the u.n. had to retreat now israel has raised concerns that a rainy and troops could encroach upon their defense line. are the blue helmets fighting a losing battle. a losing battle how good is the the un peacekeeping. well you know it has some successes and i think that you could argue that without the u.n.
peacekeeping efforts there would be more violence so even if it doesn't necessarily lead to peace it prevents further outbreaks of violence and the situation in mali could be a whole lot worse and the for that matter so is this you know the situation throughout the middle east without the presence of the u.n. peacekeepers and you know i think thank you they can play a constructive role. it's not a panacea it's not a band-aid when you talk about mali and we talk about germany's role in general of the united nations on a peacekeeping missions and i'm interested to come back to the point that both of you mentioned the legacy of germany from the second world war that it is still largely a country that has a pacifist streak very sort of central to german society in german politics is germany going to have to overcome that process history consider is germany going to have to shed that legacy test to overcome it doesn't has to say it's a legacy in the sense that we shouldn't think about it and keep it in mind of course we should keep it in mind it's a responsibility but it's not
a responsibility not to act it's a responsibility to act in order to find solutions and such cases like in mali is that even suggested peacekeeping troops have only very limited functions that they don't want to do anything which is connected with the risk that the other one has to do as that is not the right solution and but i have my doubts that this whole german society is really so peaceful and it's often a set that is a belief in the political class that this is a real you can't overcome if you're talking to german citizens all over the country and i'm doing that quite often they are very realistic and they understand that of course it's not the role they are looking for to have more trouble for german peacekeepers but the understands that we can't plays a special role where different rules apply to the germans and to all of the nations and that is just an excuse to have a more well not so difficult job and as this international concert. well i i
agree that there is a certain difficulty in public a bit opinion on how damning the should engage in military action abroad but i think if it comes to peacekeeping operations this has nothing to do with in lodgings in german influence and son of some other parts of the world it is i think a measure to bring more peace and to bring more justice to certain areas in the world that otherwise it can be done and the last point the united nations that is often criticized as being inefficient can only act if the member states are willing to make their contribution without that nothing will work and therefore i think it is absolutely necessary that the big country like germany that is the second largest donor of resources for human environment for development etc in the
international context and the force largest contributor to the cost of the united nations that we should engage if necessary also in military action to secure peace or to reestablish peace and security in other countries. ok we're running out of time slowly but surely and i'd like to get from each of you a proposal for the best way to move forward in the united nations a package of reform for the united nations that germany could push christopher mucha not an unrealistic wish list so we don't talk about reforming the security council but what germany could do is trying to be more active in building alliances of countries which subscribe to the multilateral and later list and what would also give more support and financial support and political support to the united nations solutions. and. i agree i think you leverage those
areas where there are common interests whether it's climate change whether it's opposition to president trump whether it's you know anywhere you can get common interests together leverage that to get those blocking minorities and to get those votes together to move and a more brazen. well i think what else the biggest problems for his decision making in the security council is to p. five if veto now we know that that. we could perhaps do something that makes it easier to take the necessary decision in security council and i think we should. try to convince people into a lot of nations into p five. not to use the veto any cases full cross violations of human rights and the second.
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