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

Intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council Reform
Intermediate Reform

(translated from statement made in French)

Dear Mr. President,

The French delegation would like to thank you for organizing this important meeting for our negotiations on Security Council reform in accordance with your letter of August 12, 2009.

Security Council reform is essential in order for it to become more representative of the world today, but still retain the capacity to take the necessary action to deal with the international security issues that we face in the 21st Century.

We welcome the official launch of the intergovernmental negotiations on February 19. The work undertaken during your presidency has made it possible to review the main issues associated with Security Council reform.

As you know, we support an expansion in the two categories of members. 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.

Security Council reform could still be blocked, as this year’s debates have shown.

In order to avoid deadlock and to be more certain of achieving reform, we support the pragmatic option of an intermediate reform, as proposed by the French president and the British Prime Minister on March 27, 2008 and again on July 6, 2009.

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

In this respect we welcome the fact that the intermediate solution is the focus of increasing interest and support among the delegations, as demonstrated by the negotiations that have been taking place since February. The organization of today’s special meeting devoted to intermediate reform also bears witness to this.

As the President of the Republic and the British Prime Minister jointly indicated, we are ready to work with all of our partners to determine the parameters of this intermediate reform. We should, in particular, consider the duration of the intermediate phase, the size and composition of the Council during the intermediate phase, and the modalities of entry into force and final approval of the intermediate reform.

We would like the intermediate solution to be examined in detail at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, during which we hope to make significant progress.

In order to successfully achieve Security Council reform, we will all have to demonstrate flexibility. As emphasized by the President of the Republic, France intends to make a firm commitment at the highest level to achieving this goal.

Mr. President, I am counting on you to take the points I have just highlighted into consideration so that, together, we can make rapid progress in our negotiations.

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