"The UN Charter is a cornerstone of multilateralism" [fr]
Commemoration of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations
Statement by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Foreign Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs,
as President of the United Nations Security Council, on behalf of the Security Council
26 June 2020
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Security Council in my capacity of President of the Security Council.
75 years ago, the Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco. On that day, “we, the peoples of the United Nations” reaffirmed our determination “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime had brought untold sorrow to mankind”.
The UN Charter is a cornerstone of multilateralism. In this UN Charter Day, the best way to commemorate is to reaffirm the spirit of the Charter and recommit ourselves to the founding aspiration of the UN.
Today, the Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, including the purposes and principles of the Charter, and an international order based on international law, which is the indispensable foundation of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world, for peaceful coexistence, and for cooperation among States in addressing threats to international peace and security. In this connection, the Council reaffirms its commitment to multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations.
The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations, and in this context, underscores the need for all States and international and regional organizations and others to have respect for the Charter.
Over the last 75 years, the United Nations have significantly contributed to preventing and solving conflicts and to reducing the humanitarian damages of armed conflicts. Building on the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, we have collectively worked toward a more peaceful and inclusive world including through the women, peace and security and children and armed conflicts agendas.
We are currently deploying 26 Special political missions and other political presences, as well as 110.000 peacekeepers in 13 peace operations throughout the world. We want to pay tribute to the women and men who have contributed to our collective efforts for the maintenance of international peace and security, and in particular the 3928 peacekeepers and other United Nations employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice while completing their mission. We support the reforms initiated by the Secretary General to ensure that peacekeeping is fit, accountable, and performing at the highest levels to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and that the safety and security of peacekeepers is improved.
However, there are areas where success has not been achieved. Since 1945, no continent has been spared by wars and crises. And today still, too many ongoing armed conflicts are destroying lives and livelihoods and displacing women, men and children all over the world. At least 70.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes including 25.9 million refugees. Violations and abuses of international human rights and violations of international humanitarian law are still widespread.
Many UN-designated terrorist groups remain active and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains a threat for international peace and security, while emerging threats are posing new challenges.
People around the world are suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This massive challenge necessitates a strong multilateral system and more cooperation and solidarity among nations. Not less. In this regard, we commend the Secretary-General’s leadership in coordinating the UN system to fight the pandemic and prepare for the recovery. And we welcome his call for a global ceasefire.
In the years to come we need to build on our collective achievements and learn from our shortcomings in order to live up to the promises of the founders of the United Nations. Building on the reform undertaken by the Secretary-General and the 2030 agenda, we need to promote and improve the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as well as the prevention of conflicts, peacebuilding and the post-conflict recovery. And we must underscore that sustainable development, human rights, peace and security are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. We also need to better involve youth, who have already shown their leadership in addressing today’s challenges.
In this endeavour, I would like to underline the importance of the role of regional and sub-regional organizations and arrangements and of cooperation with them, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, with regard to maintaining international peace and security, contributing to international efforts to uphold the Charter.
The task is immense but let me assure you that the Security Council remains determined to do its part and fulfil its mandate in an effective, inclusive and transparent manner.
In this regard, the Security Council stresses its determination in upholding the Charter of the United Nations in all of its activities and its commitment to working closely with all relevant partners to ensure more effective implementation of the Charter as an indispensable tool in the maintenance of international peace and security.
And to conclude, allow me to quote the first president of the Security Council, as his words remain true: “The maintenance of peace requires the co-operation of all Members of the United Nations. That co-operation rests, in the ultimate issue, on the will of the peoples of the world to work for peace. A real will to peace must spring not from fear, but from positive faith in the brotherhood of men”. And I would add the sisterhood of women.
I thank you.