United Nations

Mali accuses France of arming jihadists

International — Link

A letter from Mali’s Foreign Ministry to the United Nations Security Council alleges that France supported jihadists within the country and committed airspace violations. 

How French defence firm Thales placed a mole inside the UN

International — Investigation

From 2016 to 2019 an officer in the French air force reserve worked for the United Nations in New York in a technology and communications department that helped support peacekeeping missions. Officially the French military had seconded his services free of charge to the UN. But in reality the experienced officer was working for and being paid by France's major defence and electronics firm Thales, according to documents seen by Mediapart. As Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget report, senior figures in the French state were aware of what was going on.

France donates €100 million to emergency UN fund for Afghanistan

France — Link

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said half of the Afghan population was now at risk, including more than four million women and around 10 million children.

UN official says France impeded probe into journalists' deaths

France — Link

Agnès Callamard says justice is being denied over killings of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali in 2013.

Deaths of 19 civilians in French airstrike in Mali disputed by Paris

International — Link

Witnesses to the January attack describe aerial attack on a wedding but French officials claim the gathering was of armed extremists.

France security law incompatible with human rights, say UN experts

France — Link

Special reporters take government in Paris to task over proposed legislation that would give police more power.

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

France — Link

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

France — Link

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

France — Link

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

International — Analysis

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

France — Investigation

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

France — Link

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

International — Opinion

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

International — Link

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

International — Link

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'.