(translation of statement made in French)
France fully supports your initiative to organize this meeting and the efforts you undertook with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals. But let us speak frankly - we are here to guarantee peace.
We are right to speak of the future, but before the future there is the present, and at present we have two nuclear crises.
The people of the entire world are listening to what we’re saying, to our promises, our commitments and our speeches, but we live in a real world, not a virtual world.
We say: reductions must be made. And President Obama has even said, "I dream of a world without [nuclear weapons]." Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council resolutions. Since 2005, Secretary-General, the international community has called on Iran to engage in dialogue. An offer of dialogue was made in 2005, an offer of dialogue was made in 2006, an offer of dialogue was made in 2007, an offer of dialogue was made in 2008, and another one was made in 2009. President Obama, I support the Americans’ outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing. More enriched uranium, more centrifuges, and on top of that, a statement by Iranian leaders proposing to wipe a UN member State off the map.
What are we doing? What conclusions are we drawing? There comes a time when facts are stubborn and decisions must be made. If we want in the end to have a world without nuclear weapons, let us not accept the violation of international rules.
I understand perfectly well the various positions of the different parties, but all of us may one day be threatened by a neighbour who has obtained a nuclear weapon.
Second, North Korea. It gets even better: they have violated all Security Council deliberations since 1993, and they disregard everything that the international community says, everything. What’s more, they are continuing their ballistic tests.
How can we accept this? What conclusions can we draw from it? I say that at some point, all of us - regardless of our positions in other respects - will have to work together to adopt sanctions and to ensure that the UN Security Council’s decisions are effective.
Finally, I share the opinion expressed by the President of Uganda and the Chinese President with respect to access to civil nuclear energy. We, the nuclear powers, must agree to technology transfers so that everyone can have access to this clean energy. I would add that this will make it possible to avoid deliberate confusion on the part of those who claim to be carrying out nuclear research for civilian purposes while they’re doing it for military purposes.
So, ladies and gentlemen, my dear colleagues, this is what I believe, in full support of what was decided in the resolution and in full support of President Obama’s initiative. What I believe is that by having the courage to strengthen sanctions, together, against countries that violate Security Council resolutions, we will give credibility to our commitment to a world whose future holds fewer nuclear weapons and perhaps, one day, no nuclear weapons./.
(Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten)