Remarks by Sigmar Gabriel, Member of the German Bundestag and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the 72nd U.N. General Assembly (Excerpts)

September 26, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Mr President,

Ladies and gentlemen,

We seem to be confronted with a phase of political hurricanes and earthquakes. And the tone of the confrontations seems to get harsher, more intransigent and belligerent from day to day and from speech to speech. 


Ladies and gentlemen.

How urgently essential it is that we work together to create a safer world is demonstrated by the current irresponsible actions of North Korea, which pose a serious threat to world peace.

We have to send a clear message: the international community will not accept North Korea's nuclear provocations.

Germany welcomes the sanctions adopted by the Security Council and is calling for their swift implementation at European level.

At the same time, we have to make use of all diplomatic means at our disposal, first of all to defuse the situation and subsequently to find a point of departure for longterm solutions.

The settlement of this international crisis is so important because otherwise others will be encouraged to copy North Korea. If a country manages to build up a nuclear arsenal while the international community stands by and watches helplessly, then other political leaders will follow this example.

This will result in completely new nuclear trouble spots in the world, and our children and grandchildren will grow up in avery dangerous world. That is why North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons is neither abilaterai nor a regional problem. Rather it is a global challenge which we have to master together. It cannot be that striving to build up a nuclear arsenal leads to success on the international stage.

It is therefore more important than ever that the international architecture for arms control and disarmament does not crumble. Existing treaties and agreements must not be called into question.

That applies in particular to the agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.

The agreement is a way out of the impasse of a nuclear confrontation which would jeopardise regional security and have an impact far beyond the region.

But only if all obligations are rigorously adhered to and the agreed transparency is created, can the urgently needed confidence grow.

Germany will work within the E3+3 framework to ensure that the agreement is strictly implemented and upheld.

This is not only about Iran. This is about the credibility ofthe international community.

For which state would refrain from developing its own nuclear programme ifit turns out that negotiated agreements do not endure and confidence in agreements with the international community are not worth the paper they are written on?