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16 March 2009 - General Assembly meeting on Security Council reform : Right of Veto - Statement by Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent representative of France to the United Nations

unofficial translation

Mr. Chairman,

I shall be brief.

Thank you for organizing this new meeting as part of our negotiations on the reform of the Security Council. Your letter on the question of the right of veto usefully reminds us of the state of play on this subject.

Regarding France’s position, I would like to underline two crucial points:

1. The use of the right of veto by a permanent member of the Security Council is a heavy responsibility, when dealing with issues relating to maintaining international peace and security. We are aware of the Security Council’s particular responsibility in situations pertaining to war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, or serious and persistant violations of human rights.

France has used its veto only 18 times since 1945, and our last use of the veto dates back almost 20 years (December 1989). We used it alone for the last time in 1976.

2. In our view, it is urgent to agree on an intermediate solution.

The difficult question of granting the right of veto to other permanent members of the Security Council could and should be resolved at the review conference which we proposed as part of the reform.

The question of the right of veto must not block the urgent and necessary reform of the Security Council.

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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