Activities of Secretary-General in Germany, 17-18 December

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Berlin from New York on Thursday afternoon, 17 December.

Upon arrival, he had a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas.  They discussed the current COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the need for multilateralism to solve global challenges.  They also discussed the situation in Libya, the Sahel, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Following the meeting, the Secretary-General took part in a joint press encounter with Mr. Maas.  The Secretary-General praised Mr. Maas’ dedication and engagement throughout Germany’s membership of the Security Council.

The Secretary-General also thanked Germany for hosting the Libya Conference at the beginning of the year and its efforts to galvanize the international community’s support for the Libyan people.

The next day, the Secretary-General spoke to members of the German Parliament, or Bundestag.

In his speech, which the Secretary-General delivered in German — a first for him — he stressed how German thinking, leadership and vision have helped to shape his political life.  He praised Germany for being a pillar of multilateralism saying that it is clear that global challenges require global solutions.  However, he noted that we face a deficit of international cooperation, and in many places, people are closing their minds.

As we look ahead, he said, we need multilateralism that delivers – and a reform of governance structures that is based on present realities and future‑focused, not one stuck in the world of 75 years ago.  (See Press Release SG/SM/20509.)

After his speech, the Secretary-General met virtually with Chancellor Angela Merkel.  After the meeting, he delivered a statement to the German media.  The Secretary-General said he discussed a number of crisis situations with the Chancellor, including Libya — where she and Germany have played a pivotal role in forging peace.

“Across the board, we have come to rely on Germany’s principled stance and leadership,” he said.

The Secretary-General then had lunch with the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

He departed Berlin on Friday afternoon and headed to Lisbon.

For information media. Not an official record.