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7 April 2009 - Security Council Reform : Size of the Council and working methods - Statement at the General Assembly by Mr. Hubert Renié, Counsellor at the French Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Mr. President,

Thank you for organizing this latest meeting pertaining to our negotiations on Security Council reform. Your letter of April 3 concerning issues connected with the size and working methods of the enlarged Security Council constituted a useful reminder of the terms of the discussions that have already taken place on this subject.

With respect to France, I would like to underscore the following key elements:

The United Nations Charter confers on the Security Council primary responsability for the maintenance of international peace and security. Its format and methods guarantee its effectiveness.

But reforming the Security Council is essential in order for it to remain effective while bolstering its legitimacy in a world that is different from the way it was in 1945.

The Security Council’s enlargement must apply to both categories of members, permanent and non-permanent.

The Security Council’s enlargement must take into account the emergence of new powers that are resolved to assume the responsibility of a permanent presence in the Security Council and are, in accordance with the UN Charter, capable of making a significant contribution to the Council’s international efforts to maintain peace and security.

In this regard, we support permanent membership for Germany, Brazil, India and Japan.

We also support an enhanced Security Council presence for African countries, notably among the permanent members. There is also the question of an Arab country becoming a permanent member of the Security Council.

But the Security Council must not be enlarged to the detriment of its effective action and its credibility as the main body responsible for maintaining international peace and security. It is therefore important for the Council to remain a reasonable size.

Because we are attached to the Council’s effectiveness, we also favor improving its working methods. On this latter point, let us not forget that substantial progress has been made in recent years, as reflected notably in the Security Council president’s note S/2006/507, whose implementation gave rise last August to a highly substantive debate.

I would like to underscore in this regard that France has demonstrated ongoing concern that the Security Council’s working methods enable it not only to act effectively but to maintain a relationship of transparency and interaction with all UN member states.

France wants to work with all of its partners. As we have already indicated, we believe that intermediate reform represents the best option for moving forward concretely and eventually bringing about the reform of the Security Council.

Thank you./.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU