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2 September 2009 - General Assembly: Security Council reform - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform
Expansion in the two categories of members

(translated from statement made in French)

General Assembly

Intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform

Expansion in the two categories of members

September 2, 2009

Speech by Gérard Araud

Permanent Representative of France

Dear Mr. President,

The French delegation would like to thank you for organizing this new meeting aimed at negotiating Security Council reform in accordance with your letter of August 12.

I would like to specify the following key points of our proposal concerning the composition of the Security Council:

The United Nations Charter gives the UN Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Its format and methods ensure its effectiveness.

Security Council reform is essential in order for it to remain effective and, at the same time, strengthen its legitimacy in a world that is different to what it was in 1945.

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 as the UN body with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and stability.

The Security Council must therefore be kept to a reasonable size.

Dear Mr. President,

In order to break this 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 temporary category of seats, with a longer term than the two year term of the current elected members. At the end of the initial phase, it could be decided to turn these new types of seats into permanent ones.

Such a 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 over the next few months during which we hope to make significant progress.

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