Multilateral cooperation Development Minister Svenja Schulze visits United Nations in Geneva
Press release 21 January 2022 | BERLIN / GENEVA – German Development Minister Svenja Schulze has set herself the goal of significantly strengthening multilateral development policy during this parliament. She is starting that work right away by visiting Geneva this coming Monday (24 January), where she will meet the heads of a number of UN institutions. Discussions will focus on pandemic response and the global refugee and education crises.
Minister Schulze commented, “Global challenges demand global responses. Particularly when it comes to beating the pandemic, we are seeing the need for strong partnerships at multilateral level – with the United Nations right at the centre. We can only succeed in our efforts to tackle this acute phase of the pandemic and to tackle climate change and all the indirect consequences of the pandemic – for example in education – if we work together globally. That is why I am making our multilateral efforts a new priority. This will also help us take a more integrated approach to foreign policy, climate policy and development policy.”
Key focuses of the visit
Pandemic response and prevention: The key to ending the pandemic is ensuring that all the world has access to vaccines. At the same time, drugs, oxygen and protective equipment are also needed in order to protect health workers and the very poorest in society from serious illness or death.
The multilateral platform ACT-A (Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator), which also includes the COVAX vaccine initiative, is one example of the kind of cooperative multilateralism that is needed. Minister Schulze will therefore be meeting the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during her visit to Geneva and also having meetings, for example, with the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and with the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Education: COVID-19 has sparked a global crisis in education of dramatic dimensions. The futures of an entire generation of schoolchildren are at risk. With Monday also marking International Day of Education, Development Minister Schulze is calling for increased international efforts in the field of education.
One focus of her meeting with the Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, will be Germany's future efforts to support education in areas in crisis.
Refugee crisis: The crises currently affecting the world – COVID-19, climate change, conflicts such as in Afghanistan – are forcing people from their homes and aggravating the situation for refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities worldwide.
At her meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Development Minister Schulze will discuss how the situation can be improved for refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.
Decent work: Key topics of the Minister's meeting with the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, will be the massive impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global labour markets and the transformation of the world of work within the context of the socio-ecological transformation of the economy.
The aim is to use the process of recovery from the crisis as an opportunity to build back in an ecologically and socially sound way, with the focus on decent work.