Germany bids farewell to the Security Council

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Peter Wittig

Peter Wittig

Five countries this month end their terms as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. They include Germany whose priorities ranged from Afghanistan to chairing the Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee.

German ambassador Peter Wittig spoke about his country's tenure at a press conference in New York on Friday.

He said Germany's membership in the Security Council coincided with the "momentous changes" brought about by the Arab Spring, which called for early and sustained engagement by the international community.

"We believe that whenever conflicts arise, the international community should act early. So we are a staunch advocate of preventive diplomacy: the later we act, the harder it gets, and Syria is a very clear—and, if I may so, depressing—showcase in this regard."

The Security Council comprises 15 members, five of whom—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—are permanent members with the right of veto.

Ten non-permanent members, who are elected by the General Assembly, serve for a two-year terms which ends on 31 December for Germany, Colombia, India, Portugal and South Africa.

New non-permanent members Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Republic of Korea and Rwanda, begin their mandates in January.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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