France’s role at the United Nations [fr]
- French President, Emmanuel Macron, at the UN General Assembly - 24 September 2019
- © UN Photo/Cia Pak
France was one of the founding members of the UN when it was created in 1945. It is a member of the Security Council and holds a permanent seat, like the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Russia. As such, it plays a key role in many issues and drafts a large number of texts adopted by the Security Council.
France is also represented in other main organs of the UN (in ECOSOC where it has been a continuously re-elected member since its creation; in the Trusteeship Council where it has a permanent seat) as well as in the subsidiary organs (elected to the Human Rights Council and permanent member of the Conference on Disarmament, for example).
Within the United Nations, France plays an active role in all areas.
France fully supports UN peacekeeping operations. It is the second troop contributing country among the five permanent members of the Security Council, with 940 blue helmets deployed on the ground in 8 peacekeeping operations. France is mainly present within the UNIFIL (Lebanon), MINUSCA (CAR) and MINUSMA (Mali).
France also supports the formation every year of more than 25,000 African soldiers, in 11 countries of the continent. In addition to this direct contribution, it is also present on the ground with UN authorized forces that are not blue helmets. France is the only UN Member State to deploy a national force in support of peacekeeping operations. In Mali, French operation Barkhane supports African forces and the MINUSMA in order to fight jihadist terrorism in the region. Until 2016, French operation Sangaris was supporting MINUSCA in Central African Republic. France also contributes financially to African operations, like the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting against Boko Haram or the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
France also plays a key role in terms of disarmament. It has worked for the elaboration of numerous treaties and is very involved in actions to enforce the non-proliferation regime. That is why France supported the adoption of the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty) and calls all States to ratify it. It is especially concerned by the development of nuclear and ballistic program in North Korea. France, together with its Security Council’s partners, voted in favor of the last sanctions adopted against North Korea. Our objective remains a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
For further information: Peacekeeping
With regard to environment and climate change, France’s action is part of a long-term effort, since the Rio declaration in 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. More recently, the 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015, establishing 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and which France fully supports. This comprehensive approach covers all development issues, linking extreme-poverty and preservation of the planet. Finalized and adopted during the COP21 hosted by France in December 2015, the Paris Agreement entered into force in 2016. With this Agreement, countries committed themselves to put forward long-term development strategies with low greenhouse gas. It is the first universal agreement adopted on combating climate change. France also supports the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment in order to harmonize all environments rights.
Human rights are among the founding principles of the French Republic and its foreign policy. France is actively committed to upholding the highest standards of these rights. France plays a leading role, especially within the Human Rights Council and the Security Council. France is particularly engaged in the fight against the recruitment of child soldiers, enforced disappearances, respect for women’s rights, and protection of journalists; and is at the initiative on numerous resolutions and conventions. France is also fully mobilized in the fight to abolish the death penalty. In New York, it promotes the adoption of a General Assembly resolution calling for the establishment of a universal moratorium on the death penalty. Finally, France supports the fight against impunity, in order to prevent further abuses. It also contributed to the creation of the International Criminal Court, which it was one of the first states to ratify the statute.
For further information: Protection of Human Rights
France is very involved in United Nations reform. The recent crises confirmed the central role that the UN plays, but they also emphasized the need to make the organization more efficient and more representative of current global indicators. This is why France resolutely strivies for both a global Security Council reform and the framing of the use of veto.
-France promotes the framing of the use of veto by the five Security Council permanent members in case of mass atrocities. It aims at preventing a paralysis of the Security Council. This initiative led by France and Mexico is now supported by more than 100 UN Member States.
France also supports an expansion of the Security Council, within the framework of the negotiations relating to this issue that were initiated at the General Assembly on February 19, 2009. It thus supports the accession by Germany, Brazil, India and Japan to a permanent seat as well as the increased presence of African countries in the Security Council, particularly among the permanent members. There is also the question of the presence of an Arab State as part of the permanent members of the Security Council.
For further information: France and U.N. Reform
To carry out its work on these various issues, the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations includes nearly 80 people, including around 30 diplomats and representatives from other ministries (in particular Economy and Finance and Defense). The Permanent Representative or the Deputy Permanent Representative holds a seat in Security Council and in all of the organs where France is represented, where they speak on behalf of France and defend its positions. For their part, specialists at the French mission prepare and negotiate the resolutions and texts adopted by these different organs.
For further information: French Mission at the UN