With over 220 million French speakers in the world, French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations with English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. As such, it can be used freely at UN official meetings and in the context of peacekeeping operations.
French is also, along with English, one of the two working languages of the organization. It is then necessary to master one of these two languages to be recruited at the UN Secretariat.
France plays an active role to preserve linguistic diversity at the UN.
Established in 1997 by the Hanoi Summit, the International Organization of la Francophonie (IOF) holds an observer status at the United Nations, like ten other regional organizations, and maintains an office in New York.
The IOF member states committed to exclusively, preferentially, or fairly use French in international organizations according to the status of the French language in their country.
Regularly, the diplomatic representatives of the Francophone space internationally meet for the "The Group of Francophone Ambassadors ". This group brings together the diplomatic representatives of all 74 member states of the International Organization of la Francophone in order to promote and consolidate multilingualism at the UN, and to facilitate the representation of French speakers at the UN.