International politics faces growing challenges which no country can deal with on its own. Globalisation and climate change, resource scarcity and poverty, terrorism and organised crime have no respect for national borders or national sovereignty. In Germany too, there are frequent attempts to shut ourselves off and put supposedly "national" interests above the need for cooperative action. We are firmly opposed to this type of approach.
Effective multilateralism depends first and foremost on the political commitment of national governments. Germany has one of the strongest economies in the world. This makes it a highly influential player in global decision-making, so it has a great responsibility to help find solutions to regional and global problems. However, every country has an obligation to make its contribution. We therefore intend to support good governance and strong civil societies.
Strong civil societies and good governance are fundamentally linked to respect for human rights. Moreover, democracy and the rule of law are guarantors of stable development. We believe they are the benchmark against which to assess and evaluate policies, and also to measure the quality of political relationships with other countries and governments. We will continue to voice criticism of authoritarian regimes in future, and we will urge the German Government to closely monitor and demand respect for human rights.
Strong and effective international institutions and organisations continue to be essential in finding solutions to global problems. The United Nations is the most important framework for international governance. However, its effectiveness and capacity to act are limited. The structures and composition of its highest body, the Security Council, are outdated and in urgent need of reform. The Security Council no longer adequately reflects 21st century realities. Time and again, key decisions are paralysed or distorted by its permanent members' use of their veto. International law must continue to evolve so that it becomes an instrument to protect not only state sovereignty but also human rights. The "responsibility to protect" remains a key focus of our interest in this context.
The European Union is the most important regional reference point for German foreign policy. Alliance 90/The Greens are working to strengthen the EU and to expand the common European foreign and security policy. The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty is of central importance in this context. Besides deeper integration, the European Union's enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy are priorities in Green foreign policy. Here, ongoing engagement, a judicious approach and an appropriate speed are required. We will continue to oppose efforts to rule out any prospect of EU accession for some European countries from the outset.
A number of regional conflicts and bilateral relationships will continue to require particular attention from German and Green foreign policy in future. The first that should be mentioned is Afghanistan, where implementing a modified strategy with a greater focus on civilian reconstruction and political capacity-building must remain the priority. The mistakes made in the past must not be repeated. Negotiated political solutions are still needed for the dispute with Iran over its nuclear capabilities and the Middle East conflict, which remains acute. Regions with immense potential such as Africa also continue to need our commitment and political support to overcome their massive problems. Relations with our Eastern European neighbours such as Russia and Poland continue to be important. New work priorities must also be developed in future, with a particular focus on major emerging countries such as China, India, South Africa and Brazil, whose political and economic significance is steadily increasing.