I. Speech by Otto Winzer, Foreign Minister of the German Democratic Republic, on the occasion of the acceptance of the GDR into the United Nations, made before the General Assembly on September 19, 1973
Honored Mr. President,
The acceptance of the German Democratic Republic into the organization of the United Nations is a historic and happy event in the life of our people. It is a highpoint in the process of the German Democratic Republic’s equal participation in international life. Normal relations under international law and on the basis of the principles of the charter of the United Nations have been created between the majority of the member states of the organization of the United Nations and the German Democratic Republic. This is without a doubt an expression of the favorable developments that have taken place in recent years in the international relations of states and peoples. Thus, it is not presumptuous to maintain that the acceptance of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, located in the heart of Europe, as two sovereign states independent of each other with different social orders into the organization of the United Nations is yet another significant step on the road to the improvement of the situation in Europe and internationally.
On behalf of the government of the German Democratic Republic, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to you, honored delegates, and the governments that you represent here in the General Assembly, that our socialist state can take its legitimate place here today in sovereign equality among the members of the organization of the United Nations. We feel very obliged to the honored delegates for the heartfelt and moving words that were directed toward the German Democratic Republic, yesterday and today, during the plenary session of the General Assembly.
The German Democratic Republic was founded in October 1949. The path to this historic day today was long and difficult, but successful at the same time. The people and the government of the German Democratic Republic took this path unwaveringly and with firm convictions that their cause is a just one. They have broken once and for all with the aggressive and militaristic policies of the former imperialistic German Reich, which bears the main burden of responsibility and guilt for two world wars that brought nations immense sacrifice and untold suffering. The existence and membership of the peace-loving socialist German Democratic Republic in the organization of the United Nations therefore corresponds completely with the noble aims of its charter.
The German Democratic Republic is profoundly aware of the responsibility and the solemn duties that it receives along with acceptance into the organization of the United Nations. The charter of the United Nations designated the maintenance of world peace and international security as its primary and highest aim.
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Source: Neues Deutschland, no. 260 (September 20, 1973); reprinted in Europa-Archiv, Series 24/1973, pp. D 672-D 673.