Fifty Years of Germany in the United Nations

Involvement in the United Nations is a cornerstone of German foreign policy

February 21st, 2024
Editorial, News from Berlin
20240221 Fifty Years of Germany in the United Nations.jpg

Germany has been a member of the United Nations for 50 years. Involvement in the United Nations (UN) is a cornerstone of German foreign policy. Germany also works to strengthen the international order on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.

On 18 September 2023, we mark the 50th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic joining the United Nations (UN). Germany is a reliable partner to the United Nations and a principled defender of an international order that is anchored in the United Nations Charter and international law.

In recent decades, the reunified Germany has assumed increasing responsibility in the United Nations. Germany is now the second-largest contributor to the UN system as a whole and the second-largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance. Germany has been a member of the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council several times and can look back on a long tradition of German participation in numerous UN peace missions. It is home to the UN Campus in Bonn, which plays a crucial role in key issues defining the future, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. Did you know that 33 UN institutions with around 1000 employees work in Germany?


UN budget: Germany is the second-largest contributor to the UN system as a whole (2022: 6.8 billion US dollars) and the fourth-largest contributor to the regular UN budget (2024: 192.6 million US dollars, or 6.1%).
Humanitarian assistance: Germany is the second-largest donor of humanitarian assistance (2023: 2.7 billion US dollars).
Food security: In 2022, Germany made available around 5 billion euro, of which 1.734 billion were earmarked for the World Food Programme (WFP).
Development cooperation: Germany is the second-largest donor of ODA (official development assistance, 2021: 27.3 billion euro) with an ODA quota (ODA as a proportion of gross national income) of 0.74% in 2021.
Human rights: Germany is the fourth-largest contributor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2023: around 26.8 million US dollars).
Peacekeeping: Germany currently provides 1000 soldiers for the UN peace missions MINUSMA, UNIFIL, UNMISS and MINURSO, making it the fourth-largest troop contributing nation in Europe and, with just under 370 million US dollars, the fourth-largest contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget (2023-2024).
Global health: Germany is the second-largest donor to the global vaccine initiative ACT-A (2020-2022: 3.3 billion euro), is making available 550 million euro for vaccine production in Africa and has donated 120 million vaccine doses. Moreover, Germany is the third-largest donor to the Pandemic Fund (119 million euro to date).
Home to the United Nations: Germany is home to 33 UN institutions with 1000 employees.
International students from UN member states: Germany hosts 370,000 students, the majority of whom study at state institutions that are free of charge.

Germany is committed to strengthening the United Nations. For only by joining forces can the international community effectively tackle the major global challenges of our time – the climate crisis, maintaining world peace, socio-economic inequality and ongoing food insecurity. In order to ensure that the United Nations can remain capable of acting in the future, Germany is campaigning for a multilateral order and cooperation in a spirit of partnership, based on international law and justice as well as shared values and goals such as peace and security, freedom and human rights, and sustainability and development.

Germany is willing to assume responsibility for peace and security once again in the most important United Nations body. It is for this reason that Germany is applying for a non‑permanent seat on the Security Council for the 2027/28 term. Germany is also campaigning for reform of the UN Security Council. If it is not to lose relevance, legitimacy and authority, the Security Council – almost 80 years after it was founded – must reflect the realities of the 21st century. That includes, for example, appropriate representation of African states and the central contributors.


News from Berlin