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12 November 2009 - General Assembly: Security Council Report - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters

Dear Mr. President,

I. I would first of all like to thank the Permanent Representative of Austria, in his capacity as President of the Security Council, for his detailed presentation of the Council’s annual report to the General Assembly and to express our sincere thanks to the Ugandan delegation for its excellent work in preparing this report.

I would like to emphasize the quality of this document, which, I am convinced, responds to legitimate and recognized expectations.

The informal meeting chaired by Uganda in July provided an opportunity to engage in dialogue with the non-member States of the Council regarding this annual report which made it possible to address many issues in a spirit of transparency, which we welcome.

France, of course, remains attached to continuing to improve the working methods of the Security Council in order to achieve even greater transparency and improved interaction with the non-member States of the Council while respecting the balances stipulated in the Charter.

Dear Mr. President,

II. Let me also precise France’s position regarding the reform of the Security Council.

You have made it one of the priorities of your term. We welcome this. The renewal of the mandate of the Ambassador of Afghanistan to chair the intergovernmental negotiations is also good news. I would like to reaffirm to him our wholehearted confidence in him and wish him full success.

You can count on the support of my delegation so that, together, we can achieve an ambitious reform of the Security Council, an institution that is central to the United Nation’s actions with respect to peace and security.

The reform of the Security Council is essential in order for it to remain effective at the same time as to become more representative in a world that is different to what it was in 1945. It’s necessary. The status quo is not an option.

We believe - and I understand that this opinion is shared by many delegations - that in order to better represent the realities of today’s world, Security Council reform must be carried out for both categories of members: permanent and non-permanent.

It must take into account the emergence of new powers that are willing to assume the responsibility of a permanent seat in the Security Council and that are, in line with the United Nations Charter, able to make a significant contribution to the Council’s international peacekeeping and international security actions.

In this respect, we support the accession of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan to permanent member status.

We also support an increased presence of African countries within the Security Council, in particular among its permanent members. There is also the question of the presence of an Arab State as part of the permanent members of the Security Council.

At the same time, the expansion of the Security Council should not be carried out to the detriment of the effectiveness of its actions and its credibility as the main organ responsible for international peace and security. The Security Council must therefore be kept to a reasonable size.

Dear Mr. President,

In order to break the current deadlock and to be more certain of achieving Security Council reform we must demonstrate pragmatism and creativity.

As proposed by the French president and the British Prime Minister on March 27, 2008, and again on July 6, 2009, we support the option of an intermediate reform.

This solution could include the creation of a new category of seats, with a longer term than the two year term of the current elected members. At the end of the intermediate phase, it could be decided to turn these new types of seats into permanent ones.

Such a pragmatic solution would make possible to test the parameters of a Security Council reform during an intermediate phase.

This is why we hope that it will be possible to examine this solution at this very session of the General Assembly during which we hope to make significant progress.

In order to make concrete progress in the intergovernmental negotiations, which we expect to resume as quickly as possible, we must now propose a reform model. With this in mind, a document from the president in charge of the negotiations highlighting the main parameters of the reform, in particular the composition of the Security Council, would help further our discussions.

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