France will never use its veto in cases of mass atrocities
Launch of the Code of Conduct regarding Security Council Action against Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 23 October 2015
Merci beaucoup mon cher Christian,
Madame la Ministre,
Monsieur le Président de l’Assemblée générale,
Chers amis, Dear friends,
I would like to thank you Madame la Ministre for bringing us together today to focus on this very important cause. I would also like to congratulate you, your Ambassador and your Mission for your tremendous efforts and successful efforts in promoting this very important initiative. The number of supporters behind it speaks for itself.
France fully supports the code of conduct. We have done so because we share the same goal that unites all of us today: how to make the Security Council action more effective in situations of mass atrocities. This issue, which is at the core of the initiative we launched two years ago, is more relevant than ever today, 70 years after the establishment of the United Nations.
As you know, since 2013, France has been committed to convincing the other permanent members of the Security Council to restrain from using the veto in cases of mass atrocities. We knew the discussion would be difficult. But at the same time, we could not allow the use of the veto to prevent the Security Council from acting when mass atrocities are committed. France remains deeply convinced that the veto is not a right neither a privilege but a responsibility.
This is why France has decided to assume its responsibilities. French President François Hollande made it clear during his speech at the General Assembly in September: France will never use its veto in cases of mass atrocities. It is a very important decision, aimed at promoting international peace and security as well as a more legitimate Security Council.
Today, with the strong support among Member States and Civil Society for both the code of conduct and the initiative that France has proposed together with Mexico, we are clearly in a stronger position to continue our efforts.
It is now very important that we join forces together in order to convince other Members and in particular the Permanent Members of the Security Council to support our proposals.
It is the common interest of all members that the Security Council fulfills its mandate and plays its full role in the face of the worst situations. We believe it is crucial for the credibility and the legitimacy of the United Nations, and for the values we all share. And you can count on the whole France, on me, on my Mission, to continue the fight with you.