PARIS (Reuters) – UNESCO is in its “worst ever financial situation” after its biggest contributor the United States froze funding last year, the director general of the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Thursday.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization was plunged into crisis in October 2011 when Washington, an ally of Israel, cancelled its grant in protest at the body’s decision to grant the Palestinians full membership.
KINSHASA/PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) – President Francois
Hollande looks set to make African leaders sweat at a gathering
of French-speaking nations in Democratic Republic of Congo this
week, when he attempts to cut murky ties with France’s former
More than 70 French-speaking countries, many of them
African, will arrive in Kinshasa for the 14th annual
Francophonie summit Oct. 12-14, with Congo’s eastern rebellion
and the Islamist takeover of Mali’s north to top the agenda.
PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s main opposition bloc will restructure itself in Qatar next week to seek fresh impetus, Syrian National Council leader Abdulbaset Sieda said on Wednesday, after months of criticism that it is too fractious and influenced by Islamists.
Sieda, speaking in Paris, also said the SNC reorganization would precede crunch talks in the Qatari capital Doha with other opponents of President Bashar al-Assad aimed at creating a Syrian transitional government.
PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
called the state of human rights in the Democratic Republic of
Congo “totally unacceptable” on Tuesday, just days before he
heads to the country for a summit of French-speaking nations.
Hollande, who travels to Kinshasa on Saturday, has promised
a clean break from the murky ties that bound France to former
African colonies. He has vowed not to interfere in internal
politics as countries make transitions through the ballot box.
PARIS (Reuters) – U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Syria soon to try to persuade Bashar al-Assad’s government to call an immediate ceasefire in an 18-month-old conflict with rebels, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.
Efforts by Brahimi’s predecessor, Kofi Annan, to engineer a truce collapsed within days, with neither the Damascus government nor opposition forces willing to abide by conditions for an effective cessation of hostilities.
PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi
will go to Syria this week to try to persuade Bashar al-Assad’s
government to call an immediate ceasefire in an 18-month-old
conflict with rebels, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on
Efforts by Brahimi’s predecessor, Kofi Annan, to engineer a
ceasefire collapsed within days, with neither the Damascus
government nor opposition forces willing to abide by conditions
for an effective cessation of hostilities.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Muslim leaders were in unison at the United Nations this week arguing that the West was hiding behind its defense of freedom of speech and ignoring cultural sensitivities in the aftermath of anti-Islam slurs that have raised fears of a widening East-West cultural divide.
A video made in California depicting the Prophet Mohammad as a fool sparked the storming of U.S. and other Western embassies in many Islamic countries and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan this month. The crisis deepened when a French magazine published caricatures of the Prophet.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Western and Arab states demanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s exit are under pressure to produce a plan to make that happen, but their unwillingness to act outside a deadlocked U.N. Security Council leaves them looking fractured and powerless.
Foreign ministers and senior diplomats from the “Friends of Syria” – a group that includes the United States, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are due to meet in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Friday.
NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) – China said on Thursday that
the disagreement over Iran’s nuclear program had reached “a new,
crucial stage,” calling for Tehran to begin a new round of talks
with world powers, something a U.S. official said could happen
at some point.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made the comment after
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a speech drawing
a “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program on Thursday, despite a
U.S. refusal to set an ultimatum, saying Tehran will be on the
brink of a nuclear weapon in less than a year.
PARIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) – French President Francois
Hollande’s Socialist-led government kickstarted ratification on
Wednesday of a European Union budget discipline pact it
grudgingly accepts as the next step out of the euro zone debt
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s cabinet gave initial
approval to the fiscal compact agreed in March by Hollande’s
predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and 24 other European leaders, which
requires euro zone countries to slash their public deficits or
face sanctions such as fines.