France Assumes Presidency of U.N. Security Council
On August 1, France assumed the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council and will lead efforts within the international organization to address the world’s most pressing peace and security issues through the end of the month.
The Security Council, created concurrently with the U.N.’s founding in 1945, plays a central role in steering U.N. peace and security policy. As stipulated in Chapter V, Article 24 of the United Nations Charter, a constitution-like document delineating the powers given to each of the U.N.’s subordinate bodies, the Security Council bears "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."
The Security Council has exercised this mandate through international sanctions and peacekeeping operations, including those using military force.
The Security Council is also tasked with making recommendations to the General Assembly, which gathers all of the U.N.’s 193 Members, including recommendations of candidates for Secretary-General, the U.N.’s highest office for an individual.
Made up of 15 total Members, the group comprises five Permanent Members and 10 non-permanent Members elected to two-year terms. The five Permanent Members hold the power to veto resolutions proposed by the Security Council’s participants.
France ranks among the Permanent Members of the Security Council, as do China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In an interview with U.N. Radio prior to assuming Security Council leadership, Ambassador Gérard Araud, the head of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, described several of France’s immediate priorities, including sovereignty questions between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan, instances of violent political unrest in Mali, and the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The latter will serve as the primary agenda item for a ministerial meeting to be presided by France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, at the Security Council on August 30.
The document below, an official communiqué from the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, was released recently to outline the agenda France intends to pursue while leading the Security Council.
For full coverage of France’s continued engagement as President of the Security Council, as well as at the U.N. during and beyond the month of August, please consult www.franceonu.org.