France is very active in all the formal and informal forums dealing with disarmament and non-proliferation in order to promote effective multilateralism in these areas.
In multilateral forums
France, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, fully assumes its responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security. It contributed to drafting the Security Council Declaration of 31 January 1992 1 on Disarmament, Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, as well as Resolution 1540 of 28 April 2004, which affirms that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. France recently contributed to the drafting of resolution 1887 2, which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council during the summit of 24 September 2009 on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as to the adoption on 20 April 2011 of resolution 1977, extending the mandate of the 1540 Committee for a period of 10 years.
France considers that the Security Council should play a full role in addressing the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.
France is an active participant in the work of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It ensures that the forum adopts positions strengthening international security, rejecting any dogmatic approach. It is also working to revitalize the United Nations Committee on Disarmament (UNCD).
France attaches particular importance to the role of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament as the “sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament” (Final Document of the First Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament – SSOD, 1978). Within this forum, it took part in the negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 3 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) 4. It would like to see this body rapidly resume its work drawing on the work programme CD/1864 adopted on 29 May 2009.
France takes part in other disarmament negotiations conducted in Geneva on the side-lines of the Conference on Disarmament activities, including the monitoring of the Biological Weapons Convention and negotiations on certain conventional weapons. France also attaches importance to the work of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
L'Assemblée générale des Nations unies. Crédit : franceonu photo
Through international treaties and agreements
France participates in the work carried out under the treaties and agreements to which it has acceded : the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ; the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty ; and beyond the nuclear field, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction 5 ; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction ; the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction ; agreements on conventional weapons ; and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) 6.
With the European Union
Convinced that the European Union has a major role to play in enhancing international peace and security, France contributes fully to all European efforts to combat proliferation. It seeks to work within that framework.
When it held the presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2008, it sought to promote concrete implementation of the European Union Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by adopting the New lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems 7, which were prolonged in 2010 and 2013. Moreover, under the impetus of the French Presidency, the European Union put forward for the first time an ambitious disarmament action plan 8 which was endorsed by the 27 EU Heads of State and Government.
Ad hoc initiatives
France also participates in initiatives developed outside traditional forums where these can make an effective contribution to universal efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and reduce the risk of malicious or terrorist use of nuclear or radioactive materials. Actions in this area need to be respectful of the legitimate right of States that comply scrupulously with their non-proliferation obligations to benefit from the technologies needed for their development.