75 years of the United Nations Congratulations to those in power, Trump is celebrated and does not come in person


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UnoMerkel, Macron, Erdogan and Xi: Presidents and heads of government send friendly video messages to the United Nations‘ smaller birthday party due to the corona. The US government, on the other hand, does not even seek its ambassador, but rather her deputy. The United Nations celebrated its 75th anniversary with a ceremony on Monday – surprisingly without Donald Trump. Actually, the US President should have been the first representative of the 193 member states to express himself with a pre-recorded video message. Instead, only the American Vice Ambassador to the United Nations, Cherith Norman Chalet, spoke. The otherwise high-ranking representatives affirmed the importance of the UN, but also called for reforms. Because of the Corona crisis, the ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York was much more modest than planned. In her video message, Chancellor Angela Merkel invoked the UN’s unity and readiness for reform. „Ultimately, the United Nations can only be as good as its members agree,“ said Merkel in the pre-recorded message. „Too often the UN Security Council is blocked when it comes to clear decisions. We need reforms.“ The UN would have to evolve in order to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Guterres and Merkel for multilateralism

Previously, UN Secretary General António Guterres had made an appeal for international cooperation to kick off the event. „Today we have an excess of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions.“ Effective collaboration with vision and ambition is needed to tackle problems such as climate change, inequality and disadvantage for women and to fight hatred and poverty. Merkel also emphasized the importance of international cooperation, which all too often suffers from the „interests of individual members“. The American Vice Ambassador Chalet also paid tribute to the UN, but also stressed its need for reform and spoke of a lack of transparency and susceptibility to autocracies. „This anniversary is an important moment for the Trump administration to mark the many successes of the United Nations – but to do so with clear eyes and with a renewed determination to see this important body fulfill its purpose.“

Because of the corona pandemic, only one representative was allowed in the great UN hall for each member country. The heads of state and government sent pre-recorded video messages. On Sunday, the UN had expected such a video message from US President Trump, as a UN spokesman confirmed on Monday. Whoever speaks for a member state is solely the decision of that country. No reason needs to be given for changes.

Member States are committed to the UN

Chinese President Xi Jinping praised in his speech: „This organization has been presented one exam after the other and has emerged with renewed vigor and vivacity.“ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also emphasized his appreciation – but at the same time called for urgent reforms, including a reshuffle of the Security Council. French President Emmanuel Macron called for a „multilateralism of actions more than words“. „If we have given the United Nations the necessary resources, it has fulfilled the hopes placed in it.“ In a joint declaration, all member states committed to the work of the UN. The United Nations was founded in 1945 with initially around 50 members. The Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR joined in 1973. The general debate of the UN General Assembly begins on Tuesday – usually a large annual meeting with plenty of opportunity for diplomacy in the aisles. Because of the pandemic, most of the encounters are canceled this time.

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