Frank-Walter Steinmeier.jpg

Renewed dialogue and trust-building are needed to solve the complex crises faced by the world today, including the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the UN Security Council Monday.

Steinmeier met the council in New York to present the key priorities of his country's the 2016 chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Germany will act as head of the OSCE until the end of the year.

One of the international group's main tasks is to implement a ceasefire and broker peace in eastern Ukraine.

Steinmeier said the OSCE, which has a special monitoring mission in Ukraine, remains "deeply concerned over the continuing violations of the ceasefire" in the country and called on Russia and Ukraine, both currently members of the council, to abide by the terms of the Minsk peace agreements meant to end the conflict.

"I call on both sides present in this council to live up to their responsibilities," he said.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN, said that cooperation at the organization "hasn't been a key unifying factor" and accused other member states of "geopolitical egoism."

Steinmeier called for confidence building among countries noting that with increased military activities by Ukraine, Russia and Turkey, all of which are member states of the OSCE, there was a "high risk of military incidents" between those countries.

He warned against looking at current crises as if the world were "reliving the Cold War."

"The world of today is different, its conflicts are of a new kind - more complex, with more actors, more conflicting interests," Steinmeier said.

Evoking the negotiations that lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Steinmeier said that while "you can't transfer a security architecture to another region," he hoped the OSCE could be instrumental in bringing peace to the Middle East.

The German foreign minister has praised the OSCE as a necessary "platform of dialogue" in difficult times. The 57-member bloc is the only security organization that has both the United States and Russia among its members.

Steinmeier is to stay in the US until Tuesday evening. After speaking at the UN, he is scheduled to visit Washington DC, where he will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Conflicts in the Middle East, particularly the Syrian civil war, are set to be high on the minister's agenda during his visit.

Related stories

Latest news

Famine declared in parts of South Sudan: 100,000 facing starvation

More than 100,000 people are facing starvation in parts of violence-plagued South Sudan, three UN agencies said Monday as they declared famine in parts of the country.

North Korean envoy to Malaysia: 'We cannot trust the investigation'

North Korea "cannot trust the investigation" by Malaysian police into the death last week of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Pyongyang's ambassador to Malaysia said Monday.

Kim Dotcom loses latest round in extradition saga

German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost another legal round after the New Zealand High Court ruled that he and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States, but he said Monday his fight is far from over.

Thai monks clash with police on fifth day of high-profile temple raid

Several monks were injured early Monday in clashes with Thai police at a Buddhist temple where thousands of officers have been searching for a former abbot wanted on money laundering and land encroachment charges.

Cambodia passes bill easing requirements to abolish political parties

Cambodia's parliament passed a controversial bill on Monday allowing the government to abolish political parties whose members have been convicted of criminal charges, a senior opposition lawmaker has confirmed to dpa.

Former VP Moreno wins first round of Ecuador's presidential elections

Leftist former vice president Lenin Moreno has won the first round of presidential elections in Ecuador on Sunday, according to preliminary results released by the country's electoral authority.

Report: US and Russia supply over half of global arms

The United States and Russia supplied more than half of the world's arms over the past five years, a period that saw arms transfers reach their highest volume since the end of the Cold War, a Swedish-based research institute said Monday.

Messi's last minute penalty saves Barcelona from shock draw

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

At least 30 injured after explosion in Bogota

A explosion in the Macarena area of Bogota injured at least 30 people on Sunday, many of them police officers who were guarding a bull running through the streets of the Colombian capital.

Vojvodina institutions hold conference on Bunjevci's non-Croat ethnic background

There are around 16,000 members of the Bunjevci community in Vojvodina who deny their Croat ethnic background. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council which enjoys the support of state authorities, and, since the change of government in Vojvodina, of the provincial authorities as well.

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

Defence deals worth 1.2 billion dollars announced at key UAE show

Deals worth nearly 4.4 billion dirhams (1.2 billion dollars) were reached at a major defence show that opened Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.