Tuesday, July 11, 2017

After Macron Trashed Africa, ICP Asks French PR & UN Spokesman Dujarric Who "Hasn't Seen," No Comment

By Matthew Russell Lee, Series

UNITED NATIONS, July 11 – While France at the UN presents itself as Africa's friend, lobbying for funds for the G5 Sahel, for example, now its President Emmanuel Macron has said at the G20 in Hamburg, "The challenges in Africa are totally different… It is civilisational. What are the problems in Africa? The failed states, the complex democratic transition, the demographic transition...". He the slammed African women for having, he said, seven children. Video here. So on July 11 Inner City Press asked France's genial ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre about the speech. ICP Video here. He said Macron's commitment to Africa is total, citing visits to Gao and elsewhere. On the complaint about seven children per family, he said he would have to get back to Inner City Press. At noon, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: World Population Day and the DSG [Deputy Secretary-General] is there, you may have seen that there was a speech by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, at the G20 in which… he said other things; it's more complicated than this, but he definitely did say that one of the things holding Africa back is women having, quote, seven children apiece.  He called it civilizational… see, there's a lot of controversy online that you can find.  But, what I wanted to ask you is, what does the UN, given it's a P5 member, was a major speech and a major conference where the Secretary-General was… took part, either do you have a view of this speech, or can you ask if the Deputy Secretary-General that works on these very issues has a view…?

Spokesman:  We're not going… I haven't particularly seen the speech.  We're not going to comment on it.  But, obviously, it's clear from our point of view that women everywhere should have access to family planning services, to maternal health, and that families as a whole should have access to family planning services in the best and safest possible way.
   We'll have more on this. On June 21, after a watered down G5 Sahel resolution was adopted by the Security Council, Inner City Press asked the Ambassador of Mali if the fact that it is not only Chapter 7 of the UN Charter means the force could not pursue terrorist beyond the borders of the five countries. He replies that the joint forces could move around inside the five; he said funding by the European Union is expected. Periscope video here.France passes on the bill. On June 16 after questioning Mali's Foreign Minister, Inner City Press asked the UN's French spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: On Mali, there's been this kind of roundabout on this held G5 draft where the French ambassador says repeatedly, it will be up to the Secretary-General, if and when it's passed, to recommend whether they'll… assessed contributions should be used for the… for the force.  Since this seems to be a holdup in it… and I'm wondering, has the Secretary-General had any communications with either the five G5 countries or France about recommending funding for the force?  And what's his position on it?

Spokesman:  We're very much aware this is… the resolution itself is being debated in the Security Council.  We're not going to get in the middle of it.  We will, as always, follow the mandate that is given to us once the Security Council resolution has been passed.  The Secretary-General has always supported a coordinated approach to this issue by the G5 countries.  He's said so in the past.  The details of the resolution are being hammered out by the Member States.  As I said, we're not going to get in the middle of the details of the resolutions.  Once it's passed, we'll, obviously, follow the mandate.

Inner City Press: Right.  But I mean, the… the… what the Secretary-General will… recommends is actually one of the issues in the negotiations.  So, I'm just wondering, is he part of the negotiation?

Spokesman:  The negotiations are being done within the Security Council.

  Ah, leadership and transparency - not.