Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts
Monsieur le Président du Conseil Exécutif,
Monsieur le Directeur général adjoint,
Mesdames et Messieurs,
C’est avec un immense plaisir que mon épouse Isabelle et moi-même, avec toute l’équipe de la Délégation allemande auprès de l’UNESCO, vous accueillons ce soir pour fêter la Journée de l’unité allemande. Nous sommes très heureux que vous soyez venus en si grand nombre.
Tout d’abord j’aimerais remercier très chaleureusement la maire du 16e arrondissement, Madame Danièle Giazzi, pour avoir mis à notre disposition cette merveilleuse Salle des Fêtes.
Ce soir, nous commémorons la réunification de l’Allemagne, qui a eu lieu le 3 octobre 1990. Nous sommes extrêmement heureux que l’Allemagne ait pu s’unir dans la liberté et dans la paix il y a aujourd’hui 28 ans. Les Allemands vivent ensemble le rêve des générations passées : nous jouissons désormais de l’unité, de la justice et de la liberté – il s’agit là des trois premiers mots de l’hymne national allemand, écrit en 1841 :
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am coming now to UNESCO, this „global democracy“ of 195 member states, where every single member state brings to the table its very own, individual and unique competences, its history and its identity. There are probably only very few, if any, workplaces as enriching, diverse - and open to the whole world - as UNESCO.
It is for this richness I was impressed by a phrase from Alexander von Humboldt, whose 250th birthday in 2019 is on the list of UNESCO’s anniversaries. This great German multi-talented researcher, scientist, author and traveller briefly summed up our UNESCO experiences, by saying: „The most dangerous views of the world are held by people who did not view the world“.
Now some words about Germany’s engagement in UNESCO.
As you know, Germany is the third largest contributor to UNESCO’s regular budget and is engaged in nearly all of the organisation’s sectors and networks. In our 67th year of membership our engagement is based on our full conviction to support UNESCO.
For instance Education:
Germany is the host country of UNESCO’s International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, UNEVOC, in Bonn as well as of UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning, UIL, in Hamburg. Both institutes are key-players in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education.
On the 20th of November 2018, UNESCO’s annual Global Education Monitoring Report, this year focusing on migration and displacement, will be presented in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, in the presence of Director-General Ms. Audrey Azoulay and the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Heiko Maas.
Furthermore, Germany welcomes and supports UNESCO’s activities aimed at preventing violent extremism through education. Last year we organised a workshop on this topic in UNESCO.
Africa: Like UNESCO, Germany has made Africa a priority of our international engagement.
During the last two years, the Federal Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel travelled to more African countries than any other Federal Chancellor before her in such a short time.
This month, Germany hosted, together with Nigeria, Norway and the United Nations, a High-Level Conference on the Lake Tchad Region in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
As discussed in an African-German workshop we organised last year in UNESCO, Germany remains ready to cooperate with countries in Africa. For instance in the fields of Technical and Vocational Training, Renewable Energy, through cooperation with National Commissions or through capacity building for the World Heritage and Man and Biosphere programmes of UNESCO.
Protection of Culture and Heritage:
Germany continues to strongly condemn the deliberate destruction of any cultural and religious sites in the world. It is now crucial to look at rebuilding heritage.
We therefore welcome UNESCO’s initiative „Revive the Spirit of Mosul“ as well as the Mosul Conference held on 10th of September 2018 in UNESCO. Germany is participating with various initiatives at the recovery and rehabilitation of the Old City of Mosul.
But national and World Heritage can also be destroyed by accidents.
Two German experts have immediately joined UNESCO’s expert mission which went to Rio de Janeiro last week. The Federal Foreign Office has pledged financial support and organised in Berlin an expert Round Table to support the National Museum of Brazil.
Protection of Human Rights, freedom of expression, safety of journalists:
This is part of UNESCO’s core mandate and an important element of Germany’s international engagement for Human Rights. In 2018, Germany chairs the Freedom Online Coalition. We will host the annual Freedom Online Conference from 28th - 30th November 2018 in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. We hope to attract about 400 participants, including representatives of 50 governments.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the current Executive Board we are an observer.
However, Germany is a candidate for the Executive Board elections next year.
We are hoping for and asking other Member States to kindly support our candidature.
Let me conclude this - very incomplete - tour d’horizon by thanking the members of the two UNESCO Committees for Intangible Cultural Heritage and World Heritage for their recent support for German nominations.
Regarding the inscription of the Naumburg Cathedral in July this year, some of you might have heard the story about the inhabitants of Naumburg who followed the deliberations of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain on big screens in several parts of the city. When finally the hammer of the President of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain went down and „adopted“ the inscription, on Sunday 1st of July, not only the church bells of Naumburg cathedral rang but all church bells of that small city.
I wanted to share that touching story with you as an example of how much UNESCO can bring together and can motivate people in Germany and around the world to engage in their communities.
Excellences, Mesdames et Messieurs, chers amis,
J’arrive à la fin de mon discours. Je vous invite maintenant d’écouter les deux hymnes nationaux français et allemand.