France and the United Nations
France and the United Nations
France has given full support to United Nations action since its foundation.
As a permanent member of the Security Council, France pays particular attention to matters concerning the maintenance of international peace and security. France provides the Security Council with the wording of a large number of resolutions, has taken the initiative in many projects, such as, most recently, piracy and greater efficacy for sanctions regimes.
France is also a major direct and indirect contributor to peacekeeping operations. It is present in ten of the fifteen current UN peacekeeping operations. With 2,300 personnel deployed, of which 1,450 with UNIFIL in Lebanon, it ranks 13th among United Nations contributors and 1st among Security Council members. This direct contribution is supplemented by major commitments to the stabilisation forces authorised by the United Nations, whether ad hoc, with the EU (Artemis and EUFOR DRC, EUFOR Chad/CAR, for example), NATO (ISAF in Afghanistan, KFOR in Kosovo). In terms of funding, with a quota of 7.4% of the PKO budget, France is the 5th largest contributor to peacekeeping. In January 2009, together with the United Kingdom, France launched a Security Council initiative to improve the preparation, planning and monitoring of operations by the New York Secretariat and the Security Council.
France is also actively committed in the field of human rights. For nearly 25 years it pressed for an International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. It is behind the creation of special procedures against arbitrary imprisonment, enforced disappearance and extreme poverty. France takes part in discussions on implementing the concept of the responsibility to protect, inherited from the right to intervention advanced by Bernard Kouchner.
France also initiated the United Nations declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity made at the UNGA on 18 December 2008 and signed by 67 countries, marking a significant advance in the debate on this matter. This country, together with our European partners, is fully committed to the universal abolition of the death penalty.
In the field of the protection of children in armed conflicts, France has taken a leading role, with the creation of a UNSC working group on the matter and the production of the Paris Commitments, a series of innovative political principles. France is also one of the countries most committed to combating violence against women and negotiating and implementing UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820, 1888 and 1889 (women, peace and security) at the UN and also within the EU (on France’s initiative, in 2008 the EU adopted CFSP guidelines on violence and discrimination against women).
France was behind the inclusion of the funding of global public goods in the discussion and work on development funding. It has also repeatedly taken practical initiatives to develop innovative forms of funding. It is behind the initiative to facilitate access to essential medicines, and the creation of vertical funds, particularly against HIV/AIDS.
In the field of the environment, France plays a leading role in rationalising and coordinating more effectively the action of the various bodies (“global environmental governance”).
In terms of administrative support, the French Court of Audit (Cour des Comptes) certifies the United Nations’ accounts.
According to 2008 data from the UN Secretariat, French nationals make up the second largest contingent of all categories of Secretariat staff , with 1,153 agents (of whom 393 administrators) out of 19,799. France accounts for 5.82% of staff (compared with 10.49% for the United States, 3.23% for the UK and 2.11% for Germany) and 5.27% of executives (United States 10.16%, UK 4.55%, Germany 3.55%).
Update : July 2010
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