Keyword: United Nations

France warns of risk of 'depressing' a generation' after Greta speech

President Macron criticised teenager's attack, saying such very radical positions were liable to 'antagonise our societies'.

France's niqab ban violates human rights, UN committee says

UN body said two women fined for wearing full-face Islamic veils should be compensated and asked France to review its controversial 2010 law.

France proposes UN sanctions for groups delaying Mali peace deal

French official has already submitted names of individuals to UN Security Council committee set up last year to deal with Mali sanctions.

Tunisia faces double migrant squeeze as its citizens head for Europe

A 2017 report showing the breakdown in ages of Tunisians seeking to leave the country clandestinely. © dr A 2017 report showing the breakdown in ages of Tunisians seeking to leave the country clandestinely. © dr

Migration has fashioned Tunisia for over two decades, most notably after the uprising that sparked the Arab Spring in 2011, when tens of thousands left a country riddled with unemployment and inequality once old restrictions were lifted. Now Tunisia finds itself in a double bind. It is resisting pressure to house migrants from other African countries trying to reach Europe via its territory, even as a new exodus of its own citizens gathers pace, prompted by economic, political and social distress. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

Sarkozy and Libya: how UN resolution was hijacked

Aftermath of the French and allied intervention in Libya: Benghazi in March 2018. © Reuters Aftermath of the French and allied intervention in Libya: Benghazi in March 2018. © Reuters

The role of President Nicolas Sarkozy in the military intervention in Libya in 2011 that led to the removal from power and death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 continues to raise many unanswered questions. The original United Nations mandate that Sarkozy and certain other leaders obtained was subsequently hijacked and use to change the regime. As a result the country was left in chaos, helping to empower jihadist groups across various African countries who are still suffering instability as a result. President Emmanuel Macron considers the intervention to have been a “major error”. But is he ready to identify those responsible for it? René Backman reports.

Counter-terror bill risks France’s human rights record, say UN experts

Liberty and security ‘under threat’ from bill aiming to end France’s state of emergency by transferring special police powers into permanent law.

Starched stiff: a translator's view of UN-speak French

By Santiago Artozqui (En attendant Nadeau)
Inside United Nations headquaters in New York. © Reuters Inside United Nations headquaters in New York. © Reuters

Like most international institutions, the United Nations functions in several languages, demanding the translation of its thousands upon thousands of documents of various kinds into six tongues. But the task of its professional translators is far from straightforward, as Santiago Artozqui, a translator of UN texts from English to French, explains here. Not least is what he calls “a misplaced Atticism” required of French-language documents which “dunks the language in starch and leaves it as stiff as the shirt of a notable”.


France wants UN meeting after 'disgusting' Syria gas attack

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he urged countries and politicians not to 'shirk their responsibilities'.

France seeks UN sanctions against Syria chemical attack perpetrators

Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on the United Nations Security Council to vote a resolution that places those who commit chemical attacks in Syria under sanctions, adding that the Syrian army and the Islamic State group had used chemical weapons agaisnt civilians 'on at least three occasions'.

UN and French rights commission condemn state of emergency 'abuses'


French President François Hollande on Wednesday told French parliament leaders that he will seek a third extension of state of emergency powers introduced immediately after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead. The announcement followed two separate and fiercely critical reports published this week, one by the government’s own official consultative committee on human rights which denounced "abuses" and the "devastating damage" of the special powers the government has granted itself, and another by a panel of United Nations rights experts who said the measure had created “excessive and disproportionate restrictions”. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

The lottery of France's laws on smoking cannabis


For many years successive French governments have opposed the decriminalisation of cannabis, unlike many other countries. However, France did recently bring in on-the-spot police fines in a bid to simplify procedures and avoid lengthy and costly court cases for cannabis users. However, this new approach will not end the disparities and lack of coherence in the existing repressive policy, under which prosecution for using cannabis depends as much on who you are and where you live as on what you smoke. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.

France moves for UN sanctions against those blocking peace moves in CAR

France says it and UN 'partners' want to freeze assets and ban travel of parties hindering peace transition in strife-torn Central African Republic.

France hits out at Russia's claims of fighting Islamic State

Ahead of UN meeting on fighting IS, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius says Russia’s claims of fighting in Syria are exaggerated.

France announces 4 billion-euro boost in foreign aid

President Hollande announced move at a UN summit on development, saying it would take French aid budget to 12 billion euros a year.

How oil firm represents France on UN fuel pollution body


A committee of the UN's International Maritime Organization is discussing ways to reduce the sulphur content in marine fuels, a pollutant said to be responsible for up to 50,000 deaths a year in Europe alone. But France's representative on the body is an employee of French oil firm Total - which produces those very same marine fuels. As Jade Lindgaard reports, there is embarrassment in Paris over this apparently flagrant conflict of interest.