Germany is currently serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. From the beginning of April, it officially takes over the chair — as part of a “dual presidency” with France.
What is a “dual presidency?”
Germany and France are both currently serving on the UN Security Council. France has a permanent seat, meaning that it is always a member of the UN’s most senior body. Germany was elected to serve on the Security Council for a two-year term throughout 2019 and 2020. The two EU countries each occupy the chair for one month — France in March, Germany in April. As a symbol of their close cooperation, they decided to dovetail these into a first “dual presidency” — France has described it as a “twinning arrangement.” The presidency will formally pass from France to Germany at the end of the month, but in practice there will hardly be any change, as both countries will continue jointly to occupy the chair. This closer UN cooperation was agreed by Berlin and Paris as part of the Treaty of Aachen.
What is their agenda?
One focus is crisis prevention in Africa. Germany and France want to see continued support for the UN mission in Mali, and close collaboration on peace and security in Burkina Faso. They also want to make things easier for humanitarian aid workers worldwide by ensuring that they are better equipped and protected. German foreign minister Heiko Maas plans to present an initiative to this effect in New York at the beginning of April.