Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Security Council: a dual presidency between France and Germany to defend multilateralism

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France and Germany will consecutively chair the United Nations Security Council in March and April. The two countries have decided to coordinate their efforts by jointly preparing the Council's work plans for these two months.

As a founding member of the United Nations in 1945, France holds a permanent seat on the Council and therefore has the right of veto. Germany is a non-permanent member and was elected to serve on the Security Council from 2019 to 2020. The Security Council is composed of 15 members: 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members, each elected for 2 years.

The two working programmes of these countries reflect their values as well as those of the European Union. The main objective of this "dual presidency" is to defend multilateralism which the French and German foreign ministers stated, "is experiencing perhaps its gravest crisis since its emergence after the Second World War".

In the document of their joint statement, Germany’s Heiko Maas and France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian note that "more people are rejecting it as too expensive, acting as though global problems such as climate change, migration and cybersecurity could be successfully tackled at national level.”

"The rivalry among major powers and growing nationalism have resulted in an increasingly fragmented world order – in political, economic and social terms," the two ministers added. "To counter this trend, like-minded states must make common cause and double their efforts to promote multilateralism. France and Germany intend to lead the way.”

The two consecutive Presidencies will also focus on the protection of humanitarian personnel and respect for international humanitarian law, commitment to peace and conflict resolution and women's rights as well as women’s increased participation in peacekeeping.

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