In the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, drones are well known for their military uses, whether for surveillance or air strikes. They have even won literary acclaim, with the recent publication of a thriller by an author writing under the pseudonym Doa, whose title, “Pukhtu primo” is a clear allusion to this part of the world.
I have developed a habit of taking a map out of my pocket each time I meet Swedish decision-makers. It is a good way to convey the concrete reality of something that remains very abstract and theoretical for many of the people I speak to. To the extent that now, if I don’t show a map, they are amused and ask to see one.
Week 2, Day 3 of my backup assignment : into the final straight before texts have to be filed. The countries get to question the Council on the most critical situations around the world, and the authors of the resolution seek the last cosponsors.
I leave the United Nations Directorate in Paris for a week on assignment to help out my colleagues at France’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. It’s the second week of this session, and there are only three days left before the texts have to be filed.
Opposite the ambassador’s office, in the waiting area or the corridor which his visitors pass along, there is usually a portrait gallery of all his predecessors: commenting on the portraits of ambassadors is something of a habit…
In addition to being Consul General, I also head the French Institute of Thessaloniki. The combination of these two occupations was decided in 2011, and sometimes requires me to juggle multiple roles within a single day.