We increase our efforts to preserve existing instruments of arms control [fr]
Threats to internationale peace and security
Statement by Ms. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Security Council - 22 August 2019
At the outset, allow me to thank the Under-Secretary-General
and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for her briefing.
Appeals are regularly made from this organ to preserve and strengthen the security system for which the Security Council is the guarantor. It is a common priority and objective, and arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are its pillars. As the President of the French Republic recalled in this Chamber last September: Our responsibility is that we owe it to those who came before us and to those for whom we are responsible is to preserve and strengthen that regime at a time when it is being seriously tested.”
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was a central element of that. France regrets that no solution could be reached to maintain it in force. The end of that Treaty increases the risks for instability in Europe and erodes the international arms control system. I would like to underscore that France’s position is clear and consistent, and there is nothing surprising about it.
The viability and effectiveness of disarmament and non-proliferation instruments require that those agreements be fully respected and implemented. Russia bears responsibility for the termination of the Treaty, which it has continued to violate despite our calls for the consistent implementation of the INF Treaty. The development of a new intermediate-range missile system by Russia increases the threat to European security interests.
We regret that it has again not shown any willingness to comply with its international obligations and has not taken any concrete steps in that direction.
In the current context, we wish to maintain a measured, balanced and responsible commitment to ensure the security of our populations and to preserve peace and regional and international stability. However, that imperative also requires restoring mutual trust and dialogue and giving us the means to do so.
The world cannot engage in a new arms race, the price of which we would all pay; that would be a dangerous step backwards, to the detriment of the gains that underpin our security. Supporting and strengthening disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control processes is essential, taking into account the deterioration of our security environment.
We must redouble our efforts to preserve existing conventional and nuclear arms control instruments and rebuild a robust international framework. It must be based on real and verifiable instruments and the law to preserve and build on the achievements of recent decades and respond to the strategic challenges of tomorrow.
France will continue to work towards strengthening it and encourages all other actors to follow suit.