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8 December 2009 - General Assembly: Security Council Reform - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

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 November 16.

Security Council reform is essential in order to make it 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. Maintaining the status quo is not an option.

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. We must now move forward.

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

Security Council reform 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 accordance with the United Nations Charter, able to make a significant contribution to the Council’s actions in the maintenance of international peace and security.

With this in mind, 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.

Unfortunately, there is still a very real risk - that we deeply regret - that Security Council reform could be blocked, as this year’s debates have shown.

In order to break this deadlock and to be more certain of achieving Security Council reform we support the pragmatic option of an intermediate reform, as proposed by the President of the Republic and the British Prime Minister on March 27, 2008, and again on July 6, 2009.

This intermediate reform could include the creation of a new category of seats, with a longer term than the 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.

We are very happy 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 another meeting in September specifically devoted to temporary reform was also proof of this.

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 this 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 during the current session of the United Nations General Assembly, when we hope to make significant progress.

In order to make concrete progress in the intergovernmental negotiations, we must now propose a reform model. 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 facilitate our discussions.

In any event, in order to successfully achieve Security Council reform, a commitment from our political authorities at the highest level is essential in order to encourage everyone to take a flexible and creative approach.

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