France and the United Nations

The French Republic is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The nation originally joined the UN as the Provisional Government of the French Republic (PGFR) before being succeeded by the French Fourth Republic in 1946, however, after a series of crises, the French Fourth Republic collapsed. A constitutional referendum was held on 28 September 1958; 82.6% voted for constitution for the French Fifth Republic, which succeeded the seat of the former Fourth Republic, including its permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council.

United Nations membership
Represented by
MembershipFull member
Since24 October 1945 (1945-10-24)
UNSC seatPermanent
AmbassadorFrançois Delattre
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Veto power in the UN Security Council

France has used its veto power sparingly, vetoing 18 resolutions from 1949 to 2007, compared with 82 by the United States and 123 by the Soviet Union and Russia, 32 by Britain, and 6 by China.[1] France used its veto power along with the United Kingdom, to veto a resolution to resolve the Suez Crisis in 1956. France also used a veto in 1976 on the question of the Comoros independence, when the island of Mayotte was kept in French territory due to the vote of the local population. In 2002, France threatened to veto Resolution 1441 on the then upcoming 2003 Iraq war.

List of all French vetoes[2]

  • June 26, 1946: Spanish Question
  • August 25, 1947: Indonesian Question
  • October 30, 1956 (twice): Palestinian Question: Steps for the Immediate Cessation of the Military Action of Israel in Egypt
  • October 30, 1974: South Africa (Representation in the UN)
  • June 6, 1975: Namibia Question
  • February 6, 1976: Dispute between the Comoros and France on Mayotte
  • October 19, 1976: Situation in Namibia
  • October 31, 1977 (three times): Situation in South Africa
  • April 30, 1981 (four times) : Question of Namibia
  • April 21, 1986 : Libyan Complaint against US Attack
  • January 11, 1989 : Complaint by Libya against US Downing of Aircraft
  • December 23, 1989 : Situation in Panama


  • French is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat, the other being English.[3]
  • France contributes 4.86% of the regular UN 2014/15 budget.[4]

See also


  1. Global Policy Forum (2008): "Changing Patterns in the Use of the Veto in the Security Council". Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  2. "Subjects of UN Security Council Vetoes". Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
  3. Compendium - Occupational Groups Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. USA 22%, Japan 9,68%, China 7,92%, Germany 6,39%

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