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11 November 2010 - General Assembly - Security Council Reform: Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Security Council Report

Meeting on the "Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters"

Mr. President,

I want to thank the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council, for presenting the Council’s annual report to the General Assembly.

The improved quality of the Security Council’s annual reports draws on improvements in its working methods in terms of increased transparency and improved interaction with all member States of our organization.

France is mindful of the need for the Security Council to evolve in the same way as it is attached to the questions that must be addressed in order for the Security Council to enter into the 21st Century: regional representation, member categories and the size of the Security Council.

I. Security Council reform must be ambitious and allow it to further strengthen its effectiveness at the same time as making it more representative.

Areas of convergence became apparent in the work carried out under the auspices of the Chair of Intergovernmental Negotiations, Ambassador Tanin, at the 64th session of the General Assembly.

An expansion of the Security Council in the two categories of members is one of the areas that is attracting increasing support.

We must work on these areas of convergence, in order to start genuine negotiations and to avoid repeating unilateral statements, one after the other.

We must build on the progress made through the document established thanks to the facilitator’s efforts.

It’s now time to work towards achieving a considerably shorter, more functional text which will allow us to engage fully in genuine negotiations. We therefore urge Ambassador Tanin to do his utmost to achieve this objective by the end of the year.

II. Essentially, Security Council reform must take into account the emergence of new powers that want to assume the responsibility of a permanent seat on the Security Council and which are, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, able to make a significant contribution to the Security Council’s action in terms of international peace and security.

As such, 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 among the permanent members of the Security Council.

III. However, in the absence of progress, i.e. in the absence of negotiations during this session, we must draw the consequences and examine the option of an intermediate reform, which was jointly proposed by President Sarkozy and the British Prime Minister.

Some people are asking us to define the parameters of this proposal. My delegation is convinced that these parameters must result from negotiation; they cannot be pre-empted but must be approved by all members.

But we still need a consensus in this Assembly in order to embark on the path of negotiations. If a consensus were achieved, I am convinced that the willing States would be able to present the necessary working documents.

Mr. President,

The alternative is now clear to us. We know everyone’s positions, since we have heard them many times.

Either we continue this fruitless repetition and Security Council reform will slowly die to the satisfaction of some people and to the detriment of everyone.

Or, conversely, we start negotiating. It’s a question of political will; France urges you to make this decision./.

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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