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Director: Philippe Saada

Author: Philippe Saada

Executive Producer: Olivier de Bannes

Broadcasters: France 5, Public Sénat

Release year: 2018

Running time: 52 minutes

THE U.N., 1944-1945, DE GAULLE’S BATTLE

Since its founding in May 1945, France has held a permanent representative seat on the United Nations Security Council. It shares this privilege with the four other permanent members of the Council — the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China — and, like them, has the power to veto substantive resolutions voted by other members.

But it’s often forgotten that, at the time, no one expected France to become a member of this distinguished group. The four other great powers had long considered themselves the real founders of the United Nations and had pointedly ignored France for years — going so far as to exclude the French from the preliminary negotiations that paved the way for the UN. It seemed clear that, going forward, they had no intention of treating France as an equal, with a permanent seat on the Security Council.

This film takes a look back at the harrowing diplomatic battles fought by General de Gaulle (then head of the Provisional Government), his diplomats and a number of French luminaries, in order to secure France’s place at that table.