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22 April 2010 - Security Council - Open debate on working methods : Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN Translation)



I thank the delegation of Japan for having organized this open debate on the implementation of the presidential note of July 2006, contained in document S/2006/507. This debate provides the opportunity to assess the status of our ongoing efforts to improve the working methods of the Council and to allow non-members to share their observations and proposals.

We view the working methods as a tool to enable the Council to act with greater effectiveness. They must provide for the maintenance of a relationship of transparency and interaction with the entire membership of the United Nations at the various stages of the decision-making process. The credibility and effective authority of Council decisions are linked to that process.

Expanding the openness of the Council and strengthening its transparency and its interaction with the rest of the United Nations are also means of pursuing the goal of effectiveness. Effectiveness is by no means opposed to openness; quite the contrary. The Council acts in the name of all Members of our Organization. It therefore cannot act effectively unless it respects two conditions. It must both take into account the concerns of Member States and give an account of its work to them. That is possible only through openness and transparency.

Since our most recent open debate on working methods in August 2008 (see S/PV.5968), we have made tangible progress that has contributed to the transparency of Council decisions in a number of areas that are important to all the Members of the United Nations. First of all, cooperation in the crucial area of peacekeeping has been improved. In particular, it has been possible to establish more substantial dialogue between troop-contributing countries and the Council in the context of the Franco-British initiative on improving the planning and monitoring of peacekeeping operations, launched in January 2009. I underscore the interest that has been shown in organizing working meetings with troop- and policecontributing countries prior to Council consultations. That interstice allows for the effective participation of military advisors and specialists in police-related and political issues from the States providing contingents, and it improves background discussions. We must continue in this direction.

Secondly, dialogue with regional organizations has evolved, as evidenced by the Council’s debate organized on this topic under the Chinese presidency in January 2010 (see S/PV.6257).

Finally, the Council is organizing an increasing number of open debates on a broad range of subjects in order to benefit from the opinions of experts, practitioners and the entire United Nations system. This allows it ultimately to better address the new challenges of peacekeeping and international security, improve its consideration of these issues, and take new measures as a result. The excellent quality of the texts recently adopted by the Council on threats related to terrorism, drug-trafficking, organized crime and corruption are proof of that.

In conclusion, I commend Japan’s excellent work in its capacity as Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions. My delegation contributes with interest to the current evaluation of document S/2006/507 and is prepared to learn new things from it on the basis of experience and practice.

We believe that the following principles must continue to guide our thinking. - First, the Security Council’s work must be appropriately distributed between public meetings and private consultations in order to facilitate the resolution of issues under consideration. In this regard, the members of the Council must bear in mind that they have considerable leeway in terms of organizing their meetings.

- Secondly, the Council must continue to use that flexibility to innovate by establishing new meeting formats that are better adapted to the issues addressed and more regular and flexible. My delegation is thus in favour of establishing new formats that are more flexible at each phase of the Council’s decision-making and negotiation process, without believing it necessary to codify them.

- The members of the Council must make the most of the flexibility that they have in their working methods and thus continue to engage in their considerations in a dynamic manner.



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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