On behalf of President Jacques Chirac, I am pleased to bring you France’s message.
In the face of discouragement and violence, our world needs unity more than ever. It demands resolve and a collective project. This resolve can serve only the general interest and justice : that is the condition for our legitimacy. This project can only be taken forward by all the assembled nations : that is the condition for our being effective.
The Security Council is already engaged in the field, deploying 80,000 peacekeepers to stop conflicts, prevent them from spreading and help with reconstruction. But let us be clear-sighted : much still has to be done to respond efficiently and speedily to peoples’ expectations. In each crisis, we must assert a real political will in order to achieve lasting settlements. From Côte d’Ivoire to Darfur to Haiti, let us collectively have the courage to shoulder our responsibilities at each stage.
This is also true for Iraq which is in crisis : the Council, together with the Iraqi authorities, will again have to address this question taking reality as it is. So many things are at stake - in the first place the unity of Iraq, stability in the region and our collective security.
At the same time, the Security Council must respond to new threats.
Terrorism, first of all. The attacks that were carried out this summer in London and Sharm el Sheikh, Turkey and Israel are a reminder to us : none of our States is immune, none of our States has the means to respond alone to this scourge. Cooperation will be our strength.
The day after 11 September 2001, the Security Council met and adopted the first necessary measures to track down the terrorists, act against their financing and prevent their possession of weapons of mass destruction. Today, in the spirit of the global strategy proposed by the Secretary-General, we must go further.
With one principle : total compliance with the rule of law. Because the exemplary nature of democracies is our best card in confronting terrorists.
With one requirement : resolute action on everything that fuels terrorism - the inequalities, the persistence of violence, injustices and conflicts, the lack of understanding among cultures. Force alone will never defeat terrorism. Because it does not answer peoples’ frustrations, it does not address the roots of the evil.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction also calls for a determined response on our part.
In the nuclear sphere, we have all put our trust in the International Atomic Energy Agency. There are rights to uphold, in particular the peaceful use of nuclear energy. But there are also duties to enforce, for the security of all : if a State fails in its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is legitimate, once dialogue has been exhausted, to refer it to the Security Council.
It is in this spirit that France urges Iran to conform to the resolutions of the IAEA and comply with her international commitments, and first the Paris agreement.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Security Council has a key role to play in international peace and security. Let us strengthen it. Let us be bold enough to enlarge the Security Council to make it more representative. France supports the balanced and realistic proposal presented by Germany, Brazil, India and Japan. In the higher interest of the United Nations, she would like to see an agreement reached on enlargement before the end of the year.
Let us make no mistake : in the face of threats that ignore State borders, real security will only come with collective security. In the face of scarred identities, the demand for respect and justice is not only a political imperative : it is a condition for peace. In the face of the growing inequalities between rich and poor countries, solidarity is a condition for our security. It also requires a commitment from all to promote sustainable development.
Lastly, in the face of the trouble in the world, we need a common vision. The United Nations must act apace with a rapidly changing world : the pain of men and women confronting health or political crises does not wait. It must also remain this forum for dialogue and decision which shapes the destiny of our world.
It is an honour, and what responsibility, to sit in this Council. Before our peoples, all peoples, let us not give in to division and inaction. Each of us affirms his vision, defends his interests, each has his history and culture. But here, something goes beyond us and brings us together : a shared aspiration for every individual for justice, dignity and freedom. These are the ideals we pledged to serve 60 years ago. Let us keep our promise.