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Baerbock announces new EU sanctions against the Taliban

21.07.2023: Baerbock announces new EU sanctions against the Taliban

Brussels ( – Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that the EU is imposing sanctions against representatives of the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan. Those affected included ministers who are responsible for preventing women and girls from leaving home or going to school, Baerbock said at a fringe event during a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. She said that these were the most serious violations of human rights, and that the world could not simply look on and accept them.

Following their return to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the Islamic militant Taliban have closed girls’ schools above the 7th grade. Most recently, beauty salons have been ordered to close. This strips Afghan women of one of their last opportunities to earn a living. The punitive measures imposed by the EU in response to human rights violations allow for assets to be frozen. In addition, those targeted by the sanctions are no longer allowed to enter the EU. The new sanctions affect two government ministers and a senior judge.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council is responsible for the EU’s foreign policy activity. This includes foreign, defence and security policy, trade, development partnerships and humanitarian aid. It usually meets once a month.

20.07.2023: EU discusses additional aid for Ukraine

Brussels ( – German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will hold talks in Brussels with EU foreign ministers on long-term support for Ukraine following the invasion by Russia. Joined via video link by Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, the ministers will discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

The agenda for the last regular meeting of EU foreign ministers before the summer break also includes EU relations with Turkey following the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Germany hopes for the chance of a rapprochement following several difficult years. The talks will also include a discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken via video link

19.07.2023: Germany at UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Berlin ( – Two secretaries of state are representing Germany at the high-level element of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meeting is taking place under the auspices of the halfway point for Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which was adopted unanimously by all 193 UN member states in 2015. Through the agenda, the international community has signed up to 17 goals for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development, with the aim of achieving these by 2030. Bettina Hoffmann from Germany’s Environment Ministry and Bärbel Kofler from the Development Ministry are representing Germany at the HLPF. The German position aims to boost national and international efforts so that the implementation of Agenda 2030 can still succeed despite crises and conflicts in the second half.

19.07.2023: Germany at UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Berlin ( – Two secretaries of state are representing Germany at the high-level element of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meeting is taking place under the auspices of the halfway point for Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which was adopted unanimously by all 193 UN member states in 2015. Through the agenda, the international community has signed up to 17 goals for socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development, with the aim of achieving these by 2030. Bettina Hoffmann from Germany’s Environment Ministry and Bärbel Kofler from the Development Ministry are representing Germany at the HLPF. The German position aims to boost national and international efforts so that the implementation of Agenda 2030 can still succeed despite crises and conflicts in the second half.

18.07.2023: Scholz expects EU-Mercosur agreement soon

Brussels ( – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz expects a free trade agreement between the EU and the South American trading bloc Mercosur to be finalised soon. He was speaking at the EU-Latin America summit in Brussels. Scholz described the third summit between the EU and CELAC countries from Latin America and the Caribbean as a helping “the world to stick together better overall.” After years of negotiations towards a free trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), a political agreement in principle was reached in summer 2019. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Spanish EU Presidency echoed Scholz in expressing their hope that the agreement could be signed within six months.

17.07.2023: Scholz attends EU-CELAC summit in Brussels

Berlin/Brussels ( – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz will take part in the third summit of EU, Latin American and Caribbean countries in Brussels on 17 and 18 July. Scholz will hold talks with over 50 leaders from the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean on trade agreements, support for Ukraine and developing the partnership to strengthen peace and sustainable development. This is the third EU-CELAC summit, which will be held every two years in future. Another key topic for the discussions is to be the planned free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). The agreements have been on hold since negotiations were concluded in 2019. The agreement would create the world’s largest free trade area, with 780 million people. It aims to boost trade by removing customs duties.

14.07.2023: Federal Government adopts China strategy

Berlin ( – The Federal Government has adopted the first ever comprehensive China strategy for Germany which aims to provide structure and direction to the complex relationship. According to the Federal Government, the strategy defines a new framework in which Germany can protect its interests while also living up to its global responsibilities. Germany would continue to work towards good and transparent cooperation with China, but it would also address difficult issues, the government said. Through the strategy, Germany was showing “that we’re realistic but not naive,” said Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We’re setting out tools and ways for Germany, at the heart of Europe, to work with China without putting at risk our free democratic foundations, our prosperity and our partnerships with other countries around the world.”

13.07.2023: New chapter in cooperation with Latin America

Berlin ( – Germany’s Development Ministry (BMZ) plans to cooperate even more closely with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in future. Development Minister Svenja Schulze said that the focus was on a just, socially and environmentally sound transformation of the economy, strengthening the rights of women and girls, and promoting good governance, peace and democracy. She presented the concept with Roberto Jaguaribe, the Brazilian ambassador and spokesperson for the Latin American countries in Berlin. “Without the countries of Latin America, we will not be able to tackle global problems such as climate change. Now is a good time to begin a new chapter in our partnership – because once more, the majority of the governments we work with in the region share our values and goals,” said Schulze.

12.07.2023: CBFP agriculture conference in Cameroon

Berlin / Jaunde ( – A conference of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) on transhumance in the Cameroonian capital Jaunde is looking for solutions to the conflict between farmers and shepherds in the Sahel region and its southern neighbours. Secretary of State for Development Jochen Flasbarth is representing Germany, which holds the presidency of the CBFP. “Transhumance underpins the livelihoods of millions of people and has done so for generations,” he said. “It can work in an environmentally sustainable way but in recent years the herds have grown bigger and bigger. Land and ecosystems are suffering as a consequence. At the same time, competition with settled farmers is growing, which can lead to conflict.” He welcomed the fact that representatives of farmers, shepherds and politicians were working together to find a solution to the conflicts which are in part due to climate change. Germany has held the presidency for three years and will hand the role over to France after the conference.

12.07.2023: Talks with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

Berlin ( – Minister of State for the Federal Foreign Office Tobias Lindner is travelling to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia for policy talks. A key issue on the agenda are the ongoing peace negotiations to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “It is a matter of great personal importance to me to maintain the momentum of the EU and US-led peace talks, which have been particularly strengthened by German and French engagement,” Lindner said. “Just before the next round of high level talks in Brussels arranged by the EU (…) I intend to use my trip to call for a willingness to compromise.” Lindner also plans to discuss Georgia’s prospects of EU membership and the necessary reforms, and also how civil society can be strengthened in the South Caucasus.

11.07.2023: Scholz meets Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad

Berlin ( – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz met the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad for talks in the Chancellery in Berlin. Their conversation included the attack by members of the Islamic State terror militia on the Sinjar mountains in August 2014, according to a Federal Government spokesperson. The attack marked the beginning of IS atrocities against Yazidi people. Germany’s support for refugees and displaced persons from the Sinjar region in Iraq includes helping them return to their homeland. The Federal Chancellor reiterated Germany’s ongoing support for the international coalition against IS. Scholz and Murad also discussed the significance of how sexual violence is employed in conflicts.

07.07.2023:Germany pledges 2 million euros to the OSCE Climate Fund

Berlin ( – Ahead of the climate conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Germany has prompted the creation of an OSCE climate fund and pledged up to 2 million euros. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said: “The climate crisis has hit OSCE countries right across the continent with full force. It does not respect national borders and threatens all our security. That’s why it is important for the OSCE as a security organisation to take up the issue of the climate.” Baerbock also stressed the importance for the OSCE of including countries in Central Asia and their desire for a connection to Europe. Germany had recently committed an additional 3 million euros for OSCE projects in Central Asian countries.

The OSCE has 57 member states in Europe, Central Asia and North America. The German diplomat Helga Maria Schmid has held the three-year post of OSCE Secretary General since the end of 2020.

06.07.2023: Baerbock welcomes EU Global Gateway infrastructure programme

Berlin ( – Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has welcomed the EU’s Global Gateway initiative which assembles global infrastructure partnerships with democratic values and sustainable standards. “In the contest between different systems it is not enough to make good arguments for our liberal-democratic model,” Baerbock said. “We must also show other countries that we as the EU can make better offers: transparently, as equals and without oppressive contracts.” Through the Global Gateway programme the EU is investing in infrastructure in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean. The Federal Government is supporting the European Commission with delivering the programme.

05.07.2023: Scholz and Biden speak ahead of NATO summit

Washington (dpa) – A week before start of the NATO summit in Lithuania, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone to discuss preparations for the meeting. The White House said on Tuesday that the call had covered a range of issues which the heads of state and government would discuss at the summit, including ways of further strengthening the military alliance.

The Federal Government said that Biden and Scholz had also discussed Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. According to Berlin, the Federal Chancellor and US President agreed to continue closely coordinating support for Ukraine following the invasion, and that support would go on for as long as was necessary. The NATO summit is taking place in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

04.07.2023: Germany extends support for Moldova

Berlin ( – Germany will extend its support for the Republic of Moldova when it comes to dealing with the consequences of the Russian war of aggression, strengthening the country economically and implementing reforms on the path to EU membership. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is making a further 45 million euros available for the next two years. This brings the support made newly available by the Ministry to Moldovia since the start of the Russian war of aggression to around 160 million euros in total. “Moldova is still seriously affected by the effects of the Russian war of aggression. The country is simultaneously coping with an energy crisis caused mainly by Russia, taking in Ukrainian refugees and driving forward central reforms,” explained Parliamentary State Secretary Niels Annen during a visit to the capital Chişinău.

03.07.2023: Germany hands over presidency of Council of the Baltic Sea States to Finland

Berlin ( – Germany has handed over the presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States to Finland. The impact of the Russian war of invasion against Ukraine had dominated Germany’s one-year presidency. Russia left the Council in May 2022. The central issues addressed during the German presidency year included clearing munitions dumped in the Baltic Sea and expanding offshore wind energy. The aim is to increase offshore wind power output sevenfold by 2030. The CBSS comprises the Baltic Sea coastal states of Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, as well as Iceland, Norway and the European Union.

30.06.2023: Baerbock calls for clear withdrawal mandate for UN mission in Mali

Ulan Bator (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for a clear withdrawal mandate for what is likely to be the end of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in the West African country of Mali. It was vital to secure a “withdrawal mandate that takes into account the safety of both the people and the soldiers,” Baerbock said during a visit to Mongolia. In the UN Security Council in New York, the Federal Government was lobbying for an orderly withdrawal, said the Minister. The mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been in place since 2013 and is now coming to an end. The expectation is that the UN Security Council will vote on the withdrawal of the UN Blue Helmets in the near future.

29.06.2023: Baerbock seeks to promote feminist foreign policy in Mongolia

Ulan Bator ( – Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants more women to be involved in international crisis management missions in the future. “Where people all have equal rights and opportunities, everyone stands to benefit,” she said before leaving for Ulan Bator for a meeting with female foreign ministers from Asia, Africa and Europe. For years, Mongolia has been one of the countries that sends the most women on United Nations peacekeeping operations, Baerbock said. The meeting of female foreign ministers is being hosted by Batmunkh Battsetseg (Mongolia) along with Baerbock and Catherine Colonna (France). By advocating the concept of feminist foreign policy, Baerbock aims to involve women more than before in conflict resolution mechanisms for international crises. Batmunkh Battsetseg has proposed three subjects for the meeting of female foreign ministers: the role of women in promoting peace and security, climate change and food security.

27.06.2023: Germany stages “Policies against Hunger” conference

Berlin ( – From 27 to 28 June, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is staging the international “Policies against Hunger” conference in Berlin. The goal is to jointly transform the agricultural and food systems with a view to ensuring that the fundamental human right to food can be achieved for everyone. According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the number of those suffering from acute hunger has doubled since 2020 – to 345 million people in 79 countries. 43 million people in 51 countries are at risk of famine. The consequences of the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity and Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine are driving food insecurity. The key topic at the conference, which is “Human rights-based approaches to food systems transformation”, combines the goals of higher production and better distribution of foods with the aim of upholding human rights. The conference has been organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture since 2001.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth is taking part in the WFP Executive Board meeting in Rome. Contributing around 1.7 billion euros in 2022, Germany is the second-largest donor to the WFP. Flasbarth will also speak with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). With the FAO he is agreeing on a project to support in particular young, female and indigenous leaders in partner countries.

26.06.2023: Germany to permanently station 4,000 soldiers in Lithuania

Vilnius (dpa) – Germany plans to permanently send around 4,000 additional Bundeswehr soldiers to Lithuania to strengthen Nato’s eastern flank. “Germany is ready to permanently station a robust brigade in Lithuania,” said Defence Minister Boris Pistorius during a visit to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. He added that this would require the necessary infrastructure to be established to accommodate the troops, as well as training opportunities. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government had promised in June 2022 to have a brigade of combat troops ready to defend Lithuania in case of an attack. Until now, however, it had been unclear whether the soldiers would be permanently stationed in Lithuania.

26.06.2023: Baerbock embarks on shortened visit to South Africa

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is embarking on a visit to South Africa that has been cut short to one day because of the power struggle in Russia. She first wanted to attend a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. The ministers are exploring the consequences that the power struggle between private army chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian President Vladimir Putin could have.

How to deal with Russia is likely to play a central role in the talks in South Africa. Baerbock was planning to conduct bilateral talks with her colleague Naledi Pandor in Pretoria and also chair a meeting of the German-South African Binational Commission, which was established in 1996 and convenes every two years. Cooperation in the areas of green hydrogen and the dual vocational training of skilled professionals is to be discussed, among other things.

23.06.2023: Baerbock stresses importance of international peacekeeping missions

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has paid tribute to the international peacekeeping missions undertaken by German women and men, describing them as a contribution to peace and security. The overarching work done by the civilian peacekeepers, together with those from the police and Bundeswehr, serve as a role model for the government’s activities in the area of security – across departmental boundaries, Baerbock said at the ceremony to honour civilian experts, police officers and soldiers on the “Day of the Peacekeeper” in Berlin.

Freedom is precious, freedom is vulnerable, security cannot be taken for granted – this is what the peacekeepers experience every day during their work in crisis regions, said Baerbock. “German contributions to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations or EU are and remain an important instrument of integrated security policy,” she asserted. Germany currently has nearly 2,100 people taking part in international peacekeeping missions, including a good 290 women. On the Day of the Peacekeeper, nine of them were honoured for their services.


22.06.2023: German Chancellor Scholz travels to Paris to attend finance summit

Paris ( dpa) – Representatives of more than 100 states are meeting in Paris at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to make the financial system more solidarity-based. Besides Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the guests include EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, China’s Prime Minister Li Qiang, World Bank President Ajay Banga and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. International financial institutions and development organisations will also be taking part in the two-day summit. The meeting is expected to issue guidelines on how to overcome the growing rift between the industrialised states and the countries of the Global South, which are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change.


22.06.2023: Germany honours peacekeepers

Berlin ( – On its national “Peacekeeping Day”, Germany is honouring nine civilian experts, police officers and soldiers for their commitment – on behalf of the roughly 2,100 individuals engaged in international peacekeeping missions. This year’s ceremony, which will focus on “Women, Peace, Security”, will be hosted by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (both SPD) in the Bundestag. Inspired by the “International Day of UN Peacekeepers”, Germany’s “Peacekeeping Day” was initiated in 2013 to pay tribute to German personnel deployed in peacekeeping missions. In total, almost 190 civilian experts, around 1,850 soldiers and nearly 60 police officers are currently involved in international missions – and 290 of them are women.


21.06.2023: Germany welcomes agreement on marine protection

Berlin ( – Germany’s Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has praised the UN agreement to protect the oceans. The “UN High Seas Treaty is of historic importance for the global protection of the oceans. The high seas cover almost half of the surface of our blue planet. For the first time, the agreement now makes comprehensive and legally binding protection possible for these territories that lie beyond the sovereignty of individual states,” Lemke said. “We can now also establish globally binding marine protected areas on the high seas for the first time. This is central to the survival of countless species and, above all, to us humans.” The UN member states had adopted the High Seas Treaty in New York on 19 June 2023.


20.06.2023: Germany to provide 200 million euros in emergency aid for Sudan

Geneva ( dpa) – At a donors’ conference for Sudan, which has been badly hit by unrest and fighting, Germany has pledged 200 million euros in emergency humanitarian aid. 100 million euros of this total is new funding, said Katja Keul, the minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office. At the donors’ conference in Geneva, UN organisations received pledges totalling almost 1.5 billion dollars (1.37 billion euros). This was announced by United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths in Geneva. UN aid organisations expect more than 3 billion dollars to be needed to help the people in the country this year. According to the UN, 24.7 million people in Sudan – roughly half of the country’s population – require humanitarian assistance.


19.06.2023: German Interior Minister Faeser visits Tunisia

Tunis (dpa) – On the second day of her visit to Tunisia, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is meeting with President Kais Saied and her Tunisian counterpart Kamel Fekih. The talks will focus on deepening cooperation in matters relating to economic migration, general migration issues and the fight against terrorism. Faeser is visiting Tunisia together with her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin. Previously, Faeser had stressed that the migration agreement planned by the German government was a good form of cooperation. The German government had already signed such an agreement with India at the end of 2022, with Georgia and Moldovia set to follow in the near future.


15.06.2023: Global social security discussed at conference in Berlin

Berlin ( – Around four billion people around the world have no access to social security. Together with the World Bank, Germany is now intensifying international efforts to establish and expand social security systems. “Social security nets are a worthwhile investment. Social insurance will help us finally break out of the cycle of crises. It is not only a safeguard but also a way of preventing crises,” said Germany’s Development Minister Svenja Schulze. To this end, the World Bank and the German Development Ministry have invited high-ranking representatives of partner countries, international organisations, development banks and civil society to Berlin to talk about new concepts of global social security.


15.06.2023: “The UN and us” youth conference at the German Foreign Office

Berlin ( – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk are welcoming 300 young people aged between 15 and 25 from all over Germany to a youth conference in Berlin entitled “The UN and us. Young people shaping the global future”. The two-day meeting is being jointly hosted with the United Nations Association of Germany. Global issues, crises and the consequences of social and technological developments are to be discussed at the conference.


13.06.2023: Schulze praises G20 for steps towards gender equality

New Delhi (dpa) – At their meeting in India, the development ministers of the leading industrial and emerging economies (G20) have voiced support for pushing forward with the implementation of global Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and hunger by 2030. They also stressed that sustainable development was not possible without gender equality, saying that women and girls should be strengthened in all areas, from schools and healthcare to female entrepreneurship, the question of land rights, social security systems and the fairer distribution of care work. Development Minister Svenja Schulze commented that this realisation has now sunk in for the first time in the G20 group. “Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are a matter of human rights, but they are also common sense. After all, they result in better development,” said the minister. In her view, this signal is urgently needed ahead of the half-time Agenda 2030 summit in New York in September. “India has succeeded in achieving a good outcome in a difficult geopolitical constellation,” said Schulze.

As the key outcome of its G20 presidency, India hopes to adopt a Green Development Pact at the leaders’ level in September.


12.06.2023: Scholz and Duda visit Macron for three-way summit

Paris (dpa) – The French President Emmanuel Macron will be receiving German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda for a three-way summit in Paris on Monday. The main topic of the meeting at the Élysée Palace will be the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, further support for Kyiv and preparation for the Nato summit in July, which is important for Ukraine. Another topic will apparently be humanitarian assistance, especially following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam. Furthermore, the summit is to discuss long-term security guarantees that could be granted to Ukraine to enable it to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The three-way meetings between Germany, France and Poland are known as the Weimar Triangle because this discussion format was established in Weimar in 1991. Initially, its main goal was to bring Poland and other Eastern European states closer to the European Union and Nato.


09.06.2023: Baerbock supports energy cooperation in Colombia

Cali ( – During a visit to Colombia, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has voiced support for a closer energy and climate partnership with Latin America’s fourth-largest country. “Colombia has enormous potential to become a heavyweight in renewables and green hydrogen,” the minister said following a meeting with Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez in the city of Cali.

In the evening, Baerbock presented Márquez with the Prize for Women’s Rights and Democracy of the German-Latin American-Caribbean women’s network “Unidas”. The 41-year-old human rights and environmental activist has been awarded the prize for her services to the rights of women and Afro-Colombians, and to the fight against illegal mining. Baerbock said that Márquez embodied the “battle for equality that we are pursuing together” and that the prize-winner was a role model for feminist foreign policy in Germany, giving a voice to millions of women.


07.06.2023: Baerbock appeals for partnership of democracies in Brazil

São Paulo (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has offered Brazil a partnership of democracies in view of the global challenges. “Let us shake hands and together shape a future that will benefit us all,” Baerbock said during a speech in the Brazilian business metropolis São Paulo. She said that sustainable trade relations that benefited all sides, the battle against unilateral dependencies and joint efforts to contain the climate crisis were crucial. Baerbock and Germany’s Labour Minister Hubertus Heil had been invited to give speeches on the subject of democracy by one of Latin America’s leading think tanks, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).


06.06.2023 : Flasbarth at UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi

Berlin ( – Liveable cities are an important success factor in the fight against marginalisation, poverty and climate change, stressed Jochen Flasbarth. The state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is representing Germany at the second assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat, which is taking place in Nairobi. One central topic at the meeting is urban development as an engine for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. In this context, Flasbarth said: “Urbanisation is a mega trend of the 21st century. It often leads to additional challenges on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The densely populated cities in the Global South are frequently affected by poverty, violence, inadequate infrastructure and environmental pollution.” He added: “Whether we succeed in resolving the major global issues will be decided chiefly in cities.”


05.06.2023: Preparatory negotiations for international climate change conference in Bonn

Bonn (dpa/ – Six months before the next international climate change conference in Dubai, ten-day interim preparatory negotiations are set to begin in Bonn. The Special Representative for International Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, Jennifer Morgan, says she is seeking to build a “broad coalition for an ambitious global climate policy so that we can make groundbreaking decisions in Dubai that will enable us to take a major leap towards a climate-friendly, sustainable and therefore better world”. At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) from 30 November to 12 December, the global community is to take stock of its climate efforts to date and measure them against the targets agreed on at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.


02.06.2023: Scholz and Macron seek de-escalation in northern Kosovo

Bulboaca (dpa) – On the sidelines of the European Political Community summit in Moldova, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have held talks aimed at easing tensions in the conflict that has escalated again in northern Kosovo. “We have had intensive talks with Kosovo and Serbia,” Scholz said after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Vjosa Osmani, the president of the Republic of Kosovo. He explained that he himself, but also Macron and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, were very keen to de-escalate tensions.

The situation in the Serb-populated northern part of Kosovo has been causing great concern in the EU and Nato for days. Kosovo, which nowadays is populated almost exclusively by Albanians, had declared itself independent in 2008. To this day Serbia refuses to acknowledge this and is demanding the return of its former province.


01.06.2023: Germany supports protection of Congo Rainforest in Cameroon

Berlin ( – Germany will in future provide Cameroon with more support with protecting the rainforest in the Congo Basin, an ecosystem that is particularly important for the global climate and rich in biodiversity. The area also plays a key role as a source of income for the local population. Germany’s Development Ministry (BMZ) has pledged around 20 million euros to fund protective measures. BMZ State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth said that in this region Cameroon’s forest was “the last remaining area of rainforest that still absorbs CO₂ on a net basis and also features unique biodiversity”. At the same time, millions of people live in and earn their livelihoods from the forest. He stressed: “Protecting the forest has three-fold benefits, in other words: it protects the climate, it preserves biodiversity and it secures incomes for the local population.”

Cameroon’s south forms the western fringes of the huge Congo Basin Rainforest. Around a quarter of the tropical rainforests that remain worldwide are to be found in the Congo Basin. However, the forest is shrinking, mainly due to uncontrolled deforestation for energy production and the creation of new fields and plantations.


31.05.2023: Four Russian consulates in Germany must close

Berlin ( – The German government has revoked the licences of four of Russia’s general consulates in Germany. They will now have to close by the end of the year. This is Germany’s response to the recently announced restrictions on German government officials in Russia. Moscow had announced on Saturday that it had introduced “an upper limit for the number of personnel at German representations abroad and German cultural organisations”, namely a maximum of 350 persons. The decision will mean that several hundred German officials, such as diplomats, teachers and staff of the Russian branches of the Goethe-Institut, will have to leave Russia.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said that the Russian government had “taken a step of escalation”, explaining that the closure of the consulates was a reaction to Moscow’s order and that this would create a “parity of personnel and structures”. Furthermore, Germany will shut its consulates in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, though the German embassy in Moscow and the consulate in Saint Petersburg will continue operating. A minimal presence of cultural staff – at German schools and branches of the Goethe-Institut, for example – will be maintained. The personnel limit ordered by Moscow necessitated the closures, the ministry’s spokesperson said.


31.05.2023: Germany condemns anti-homosexuality law in Uganda

Berlin ( – Germany has strongly condemned the new law against homosexuals in Uganda. Development Minister Svenja Schulze said: “The anti-homosexuality law in Uganda violates fundamental human rights to which Uganda has committed itself and which are enshrined in the Charta of the African Union.” She stated: “Same-sex love is not a crime.” Luise Amtsberg, the federal government commissioner for human rights policy and humanitarian assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, said: “The anti-LGBTQIA+ law has been passed in Uganda despite the international community’s campaign for it not to be signed. The law represents a massive violation of the fundamental human rights of queer people. Every individual has the right to live in safety and to freely develop their personality and thus to live how they want and love whom they want. It is right that Germany is now expanding its solidarity and support for the LGBTQIA+ community in the country, to protect them and their work.” Amtsberg went on to say that Germany will do everything it can “to offer the best possible protection to activists who are in acute danger”. In addition, she believes that German funding for Uganda should be reviewed to ensure “that it does not bolster any anti-LGBTQIA+ forces in Uganda”.


30/05/2023: Federal Foreign Office condemns clashes in Kosovo

Berlin ( – The German Foreign Ministry condemned the attacks of Serbian protesters against the international peacekeeping force KFOR. “We most strongly condemn the unacceptable violent attacks that happened in Northern Kosovo his afternoon, and in which dozens of KFOR/NATO soldiers and a number of civilians were hurt. Our thoughts are with the injured individuals who we hope will recover very soon,” it says in a statement. The peacekeeping force reported that 30 KFOR soldiers, including 19 Hungarians and 11 Italians, suffered injuries such as broken bones and burns. 53 Serbs were injured, according to the hospital in the nearby city of Mitrovica. The Federal Foreign Office calls for “all violence and all activities that would give rise to further tension to be stopped immediately. De-escalation of the situation is urgently necessary. We are calling on Kosovo and Serbia to enter into talks to this end without delay, and to further work towards implementing the agreement on the path to normalisation drawn up in February in March, also with regard to the Association of Serb Municipalities.”

The protests in Northern Kosovo with its almost entirely Serbian population are directed against the appointment of new mayors that had been elected in April and who are members of Albanian parties. The elections had been boycotted by the vast majority of Serbs.


26.05.2023: Scholz offers German assistance with Cyprus negotiations

Berlin (dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has offered Germany’s assistance to revive reunification negotiations between the two parts of Cyprus. “Germany stands ready to help rebuild trust among all involved,” said Scholz following a meeting with Nikos Christodoulides, the new president of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU member. “And if so desired, we will be happy to support the process of negotiations,” he said.

In the aftermath of a Greek putsch and military intervention by Turkey, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was split into two parts in 1974, one Greek-dominated and the other Turkish-dominated. The buffer zone between the two parts of the island is monitored by UN Blue Helmet forces. The Republic of Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but discussions to overcome the division have been on hold since 2017.


25.05.2023: Germany to support water sector in Palestinian territories

Berlin ( – Germany will once again be supporting the Palestinian water sector, including in the West Bank. This is one outcome of the government negotiations on German-Palestinian development cooperation. Roughly 1.8 million people across the country will benefit in particular from the construction of sewage treatment plants and support with desalinating sea water. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has pledged a total of around 125 million euros for the next two years. The objective of Germany’s development cooperation support is to improve living conditions for the population and establish a future Palestinian state. Besides water projects, support for job, training and study opportunities, especially for women, was agreed during the government negotiations. Germany also openly addressed the overdue parliamentary and presidential elections and the difficult situation of Palestinian civil society, however.


24.05.2023: Bundeswehr ends earthquake assistance in Turkey

Altinözü (dpa) – Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, is ending its assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and withdrawing from the town of Altinözü. In the Turkish earthquake region not far from the city of Antakya, a team of around 140 has been operating a field hospital in cooperation with Turkish personnel. For a long time the Bundeswehr’s field hospital was the only place in the region to offer surgical operations, says Kai Schlolaut, contingent commander and a colonel in the medical corps. The tents, which were arranged like tunnels, contained among other things an operating theatre, X-ray diagnostic equipment, a pharmacy, 25 beds, three intensive care beds, a kind of accident and emergency area and a waiting room. Around 100 patients were treated there every day. The Bundeswehr’s field hospital had previously been used in Mali and Afghanistan.


23.05.2023: Global Women’s Forum for Peace & Humanitarian Action 2023 begins

Berlin ( – The three-day Global Women’s Forum for Peace & Humanitarian Action 2023 has begun at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. In staging the event in cooperation with the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), Germany’s foreign office is honouring women-led civil society organisations working for peace, reconciliation and humanitarian aid under the most difficult conditions in crisis and conflict regions around the world. The forum will see representatives of around 150 civil society organisations from 33 countries share their experiences and knowledge about their engagement. Furthermore, it offers a unique opportunity to strengthen international strategic collaboration between the organisations. The conference opened with a video message by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and, on behalf of the hosts, Minister of State Anna Lührmann.


20.05.2023: Baerbock at meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels

Berlin ( – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be meeting her EU counterparts in Brussels on Monday for a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. A variety of topics are on the agenda. One central point is the question of how the EU can become more capable of international action. In many cases, the fact that all decisions on foreign and security policy have to be approved unanimously by all 27 member states is seen as an obstacle to this. Germany wants to change this principle and draw up proposals for a new procedure together with its partners.

Other topics include support for Ukraine in its defence against the Russian war of aggression, especially financial support via the European Peace Facility. The situation in the Horn of Africa is also to be discussed, as is the situation in Sudan. The ministers will adopt the eighth sanctions package against Iran for human rights violations in the brutal oppression of its own people. Furthermore, the foreign ministers of the six Western Balkan countries will be guests at an informal meeting to discuss questions of the EU accession process.


17.05.2023: Baerbock in favour of UN mediation in Yemen civil war

Jeddah (dpa) – Germany is pushing for a UN process to resolve the years-long civil war in Yemen. Following a meeting with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that a truce brokered by the United Nations was the prerequisite for a “lasting and stable peace”. “To achieve this, all parties must be involved.” She also said it was essential that states in the region support the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg. According to the German government, 67 percent of Yemen’s population is reliant on humanitarian aid. That is around 21 million people, roughly 11 million of whom are children. Baerbock spoke of “one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises”.


16.05.2023: Chancellor stresses cooperation with Global South

Berlin ( – At the Global Solutions Summit 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has placed the emphasis on equal cooperation with the countries of the Global South. He said that the issues of climate protection, migration and poverty reduction posed “enormous challenges” for the international order. At the same time, however, the potential for equitable global cooperation has “never been greater”. The countries of Asia, Africa and America “expect representation on an equal footing,” said Scholz. This must be reflected in the distribution of seats in international organisations as well as in the trade policy of the European Union.

More than 1,000 international participants from politics, science and business gather at the Global Solutions Summit to discuss global challenges and make proposals to policymakers. The recommendations are addressed primarily to decision-makers in the G20, G7 and other international organisations.

Chancellor Scholz has invited African states to come to Berlin on 20 November to advance the G20’s “Compact with Africa” initiative. Its goal is to stimulate economic growth in Africa.


15.05.2023: Baerbock on trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Berlin (dpa/ – During a three-day visit to the Gulf region, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock plans among other things to push for peaceful solutions in Yemen and Sudan. “The Gulf region is a geopolitical pivot between Asia, Africa and Europe whose influence extends far beyond the Arabian Peninsula,” Baerbock said before departing for Saudi Arabia and Qatar. She announced that she also intended to talk about human rights, saying that dialogue also involved “looking each other in the eye on issues where our positions are far apart”.


12.05.2023: Bundestag pays tribute to founding of the State of Israel

The German Bundestag has held a debate to pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was also in parliament for the occasion. The State of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948. President Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already honoured the state’s foundation in April, emphasising the close relations between Germany and Israel. “For Germany, our responsibility for the State of Israel derives from our history,” said Steinmeier. “We are deeply grateful for the gift of reconciliation that Israel has granted us.” Scholz also stressed: “Today we are full of gratitude as we look at the close and special relations between our two countries – in politics and business, in science, culture and society.”


11.05.2023: Support for Madagascar with expanding renewable energies

Berlin ( – Germany wants to provide Madagascar, which is particularly affected by climate change, with greater support with expanding solar and hydroelectric power plants. At governmental negotiations in Berlin, the German Development Ministry pledged around 30 million euros to improve the supply of energy on the world’s fourth-largest island. “Expanding solar and hydroelectric power in Madagascar is a great opportunity to produce electricity in an inexpensive and decentralised manner,” explained Parliamentary State Secretary Bärbel Kofler, adding that Germany is also helping Madagascar with setting up power grids to transport the electricity to the villages.


10.05.2023: Make better use of seas as “treasure for green energy”

Berlin (dpa) – At a meeting with European partner states, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has stressed how important offshore wind power is for the energy transition. The sea is “a treasure we all share, but also a treasure we can make better use of: a treasure for green energy,” Baerbock said at a Wind Forum with European partners in Berlin. “The European Commission estimates the capacity for wind power in the Baltic Sea to be more than 93 gigawatts. That is the equivalent to the output of around 90 average-sized nuclear power plants.” Guests at the Wind Forum included the Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Olavi Haavisto. Together with other states in the region, Germany plans to expand offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea.


09.05.2023: Scholz and Macron help mediate in the South Caucasus

Brussels (dpa) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron want to help ease tensions in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to European Council President Charles Michel, the two top-level politicians will take part in a discussion with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the next summit meeting of the European Political Community on 1 June. This is to follow a tripartite meeting that Michel will be hosting in Brussels on 14 May with the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The two South Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been engaged in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades.


08.05.2023: More help for Turkish earthquake victims

Berlin ( – The German government is extending the option for Turkish earthquake victims to remain with their relatives in Germany by three months until the beginning of August. This was announced by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. “True friendship becomes evident at times of greatest need – and this also applies between Germany and Turkey,” declared Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stressed that Germany had organised massive assistance on the ground following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February, but that it was also about supporting those who had lost everything. “That is why we made it possible within a very short time for people to stay with close relatives in Germany, to find some peace and quiet here, and to be cared for by their own families.”


05.05.2023: End of Bundeswehr mission in Mali

Berlin (dpa) – After nearly eleven years, the Bundeswehr’s participation in the UN Blue Helmet mission in Mali in West Africa is set to end on 31 May 2024. Germany’s Federal Cabinet decided that the 1,100 soldiers stationed there would be withdrawn by this date. If the Bundestag also gives its approval, the currently largest foreign deployment of the German armed forces will be history in one year’s time. The German government now wishes to restructure its engagement in the Sahel region south of the Sahara. Civilian support for the region is to be deepened and security cooperation is to be concentrated on Niger, Mauretania and the states on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The Bundeswehr is still training soldiers in Niger.


04.05.2023: Chancellor Scholz departs for Africa trip

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has departed for his second major trip to Africa as head of government, during which the focus will be on regional conflicts, renewable energies and also the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Scholz will first be visiting Ethiopia, where he will also meet representatives of the African Union that 55 African states have joined. He will then travel on to Kenya. In May 2022, very soon after taking office, Scholz had travelled to Africa for the first time, visiting the German Army troops in Niger, Senegal in West Africa, and South Africa, the continent’s only G20 member.


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