Published in September 2021, Our Common Agenda Report of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) is the United Nations’ new road map. It proposes an action plan that aims to ramp up implementation of existing agreements, particularly the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). France supports this crucial initiative in line with its commitments to reinvigorated multilateralism that is adapted to new global challenges.
In 2022, the UNSG launched discussion on Our Common Agenda Report conclusions. They should contribute to the adoption by Member States of a Pact for the Future at the Summit of the Future scheduled for 22 and 23 September 2024 in New York. Several agreements and texts on the challenges of international governance will be negotiated at this Summit :
- a declaration for future generations ;
- a platform for emergencies ;
- recommendations for an effective multilateralism ;
- recommendations for better consideration of young people ;
- the “Beyond GDP” indicator to measure development ;
- a Global Digital Compact ;
- a Global Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms ;
- a reform of the international financial architecture ;
- a political agreement on outer space ;
- a New Agenda for Peace.
In June 1992, the United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali presented his Agenda for Peace. This report set out recommendations on the ways to build the United Nations capacity in the areas of preventive diplomacy, keeping and re-establishing peace, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding.
The drafting of the New Agenda for Peace provides the opportunity for new collective reflection on the future of United Nations tools to achieve international peace and security. It also provides the opportunity to review and set out new collective priorities for peace.
In response to the United Nations Secretary General’s consultation on the New Agenda for Peace, France drafted 20 proposals related to the United Nations’ action to ensure international peace and security. They aim to bolster the authority of the collective security system, update its means for action and prevent risks in strategic areas (disarmament, cyber space, space, in particular).
Among these proposals, France recalls its support to enlargement of the Security Council in the two categories of members, permanent and non-permanent. It calls for a greater representation of African countries in these two categories.
It also highlights the need to govern veto use in the Security Council. With Mexico, France is leading an initiative proposing that five permanent Security Council members collectively and voluntarily suspend the use of the veto in the event of mass atrocities. This initiative has already received support from 106 States.
Moreover, France encourages the strengthening of the UNSG’s role and means. It would like for the UNSG to have the power to appoint directly, without the Security Council’s approval, its representatives and special envoys, as well as members of expert panels of sanctions committees.
The New Agenda for Peace should also provide the opportunity to redesign a comprehensive approach to peacekeeping. Peacekeeping operations, whose model is sometimes challenged, should be rethought, particularly in the face of growing terrorism. The United Nations involvement in political processes, key in post-crisis situations, should be increased. Intervention of mercenaries pursuing aims other than those of the blue helmets should be prevented.
Moreover, African peace operations, supplementing UN peacekeeping operations, should be able to receive predictable funds. To this end, the United Nations should contribute to their financing. An agreement between the United Nations and the African Union is necessary to define the framework and procedures for the governance and financing of African peacekeeping operations.
Lastly, France is advocating for strengthening the effectiveness and legitimacy of sanctions regimes, as well as of the role and the independence of expert panels appointed to help achieve this.