United Nations

Our world simply needs humanity.

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The 18th Geneva International Model United Nations Annual Conference.

By Mawuli Affognon.

This is my last blog post for the 18th Geneva International Model United Nations Annual Conference. I would just like to let you know. I hate writing in the first person. I don’t like talking much about my life not because I don’t think it’s that interesting, but that’s how it is. From 25th to 31st March 2017, I watched young people from all around the world debate a variety of topics. I saw conviction, emotions and bursts of laughter. I worked with ambitious young people; worried about their image and under pressure to be successful in life. It was the first time that I’d spent a few days in Geneva. It’s often just a transit city for other destinations around the world. This Swiss city is beautiful, particularly because of its buildings, but above all these people that come from all seven continents. Over the course of the week, the gaze of the woman who was serving the NATURA menu at the restaurant has intrigued me. I would have liked to have asked her opinion on the issues that our delegates have been discussing over the last six days. Does she have an opinion on international politics?

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Within these beautiful institutions with its impressive walls, sometimes it is easy to forget about the little cogs in the big wheel. The woman who wakes up early in the morning to clean, the gardener who looks after the flowers or the cook behind stoves that light up to the appetite of the undeterred men and women. I drank a lot of coffee to keep up. I arrived in Geneva on the evening of 24 March from Paris, where I had participated in UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week on behalf of KEKELI LAB based in Togo. In other words, I was tired when I arrived in the city of the Jet d’Eau. But I wanted to do this. I have to admit that I didn’t drink just coffee; vanilla chocolate and vanilla milk were also favourites of mine. I confess. I had the honour of meeting the lady who was in charge of the big coffee machine. Yes, it was an immense honour to meet the person that made magic possible. I think that our world would be more peaceful if we had the humility to observe and to give a voice to those who often do not have one. I’m going to stop there so I don’t miss my train to Lausanne.

In a few years’ time, I hope the young people who had simulated UN negotiations will not lose their innocence, their faith in humanity and their desire for a better world. Many of them will represent governments, multi-nations, powerful lobbyist groups over the coming years, and I hope they don’t succumb to the animal face of humanity. I hope that they don’t succumb to the desire for destruction and the greed that lives in each one of us. As for me, I’ll be heading back to my life as an African student in Europe. Like our world, I think I need love and to smile.

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Long live GIMUN! May peace reign over our families in the regions of the world where the greed for surplus value and the murderous madness of trigger-happy madmen reside.

The GIMUN conference was like a moment out of time.

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Preparation week end at UNIbastion
Selfie-time! Preparation week at Uni-Bastions. By Loubna Chatta.

 

By Loubna Chatta

About five months ago now, hundreds of students from all around the world were reunited at the UN headquarters in Geneva for the annual GIMUN conference.  During a week, time stopped, and almost all boundaries vanished.  The excitement around this event is like no other!  It starts when you first apply to participate. For most of us I think, it began with a leap of faith and a few expectations here and there.  Until we received that first email, the kind that turns your day around. It says: ”Congratulations, you have been selected for the 18Th annual conference of GIMUN”

 And that’s when the real adventure begins…

 

Fun Final Group picture
Photo by Tatyana Gancheva.

 

All of us, no matter the mission, we had during this conference had to get to work at that point. Whether it was, writing study guides, designing the Journal (GIMUN chronicles), setting up the program, preparing proposals and much more.

Then came the Big day. On March 25th. We all met at UNI Bastion in Geneva, and even though we were all over eighteen, we could sense this childlike feeling, in the atmosphere, that one can experience at every age when discovering a new world, or getting into one that he or she loves.

It was a Saturday, the first day of the preparation week-end; leading towards our very first day of work inside the UN, on Monday. Meeting the people that we talked to on WhatsApp or via email, for the first time, sharing first impressions and expectations, and of course running around getting everything ready for the conference.

During our week and the UN headquarters, I felt like we all lived a life-changing experience, to a greater or lesser degree.

When I started my work as a journalist, I was immediately impressed with the involvement of the delegates, who for most of them seemed so young, but so well prepared and passionate about their subjects.

 

Fun timea at Ethno Bar.
Fun time at Ethno bar with Ghanaian team.

 

Watching them throughout the week, getting more comfortable and professional each day, made me understand their love for diplomacy. It, in fact, holds the great power to bring people’s mind’s together, before and beyond anything else. Diplomacy is a chance to really communicate and be heard, as there are so few in the outside world.

My personal experience was not only a fulfilling professional one but also a very enriching human one. First with the Press and Media team, which I think wouldn’t be exaggerated to qualify as “my family for a week.“ And with all the USG’s I got to interview and learn about behind the scenes work.

 

Geneva Tour
Geneva Tour.

 

And finally, comes this one encounter that leaves us with the best memories, and the motivation to keep up the good work. I had the chance to meet and share moments with people who traveled all the way from Egypt, USA, or Ghana for example, and I realize we share the same hopes and values…and even the same humor!

Reasons for the variable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets.

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Source: Http://www.mdgmonitor.org

 

By Florence Goodrham

The MDGs established in 2000 by international agreement are probably the most significant major attempt to defeat poverty ever undertaken.  The UN set out eight development goals to reduce global poverty substantially by 2015.  They are viewed as basic human rights – the rights of every person on earth to health, education, shelter and security.  Reasons for variable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets can be determined through examining different regions. These include Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Read the rest of this entry »

Economic Empowerment of Women & Girls in a Sustainable Development Perspective. Act, advance and achieve women’s rights!

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Source: NGOCSWGva.

By Nataliya Borys.

capture 1NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW Geneva) with the generous support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), organized a forum dedicated to the economic empowerment of women & girls in a sustainable development perspective, the 10th of October 2016 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.[1] Our editor-in-chief, Nataliya Borys, a feminist and an active supporter of women’s rights, was quite enthusiastic to know about practical solutions to economic empowerment of women & girls by taking some notes. So what do participants offer as tools of economic empowerment of women & girls? What practically can be done? Read the rest of this entry »

A youthful boost for world governance

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Source: Foraus

By Nataliya Borys, translated by Aymeric Jacquier.

Would you like to communicate directly with the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva about global issues? Do you think this is practically impossible? Well, the think-tank Foraus and the Global Studies Institute made this possible for an evening. Read the rest of this entry »

UN Day 2016: Climate Change, a many-sided, urgent and growing threat

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Source:  http://cdn.phys.org/newman/gfx/news/hires/2012/carbondioxid.jpg

By Flavio Baroffio

On 24th October 2016, GIMUN celebrated the 71st anniversary of the UN Charter, which came into force exactly on this date in 1945, by holding the annual UN Day at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to discuss the current threat of climate change and how young people can tackle it. Read the rest of this entry »

How I created a new MUN Delegation : The importance of Model United Nations

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The MUN Delegation created by Florence at the Withington Girl’s School, UK.

 

By Florence Goodrham

 

« If the United Nations does not attempt to chart a course for the world’s people in the first decades of the new millennium,who will? »

Kofi Annan

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International Peace and Security at my expense? Economic Sanctions – A philosophical comment

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This article was published in the printed version of the GIMUN Chronicles, the newspaper of GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016, last March. We thought we’d give our readers a chance to rediscover it!

First Phase Digital

By Laura Carolin Freitag

In light of the horrors of World War II, the United Nations (UN) came into existence charged with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. Established in the name of “We the Peoples”, the United Nations Member States promised mankind to unite their strengths in order to bring about a world free from the scourge of war; a world in which men and women could lead a secure life. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter enunciates the tools that are at the Member States’ disposal when this mission runs into danger. Read the rest of this entry »

Failure to Protect and UN Responsibility: The Need for Institutional Mechanisms to Strengthen United Nations’ Accountability in Peacekeeping Contexts

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Source : Marco Dormino / ONU

By Nayana Das,

Ever since the onset of peacekeeping operations (PKOs) under the United Nations’ umbrella, several incidents have risen. During these incidents, several humanitarian missions have failed to act in accordance with their aim. For instance, in 1994, the Rwandan genocide occurred despite the presence of an active UN peacekeeping operation. Likewise, in 1995, UNPROFOR/UNPF failed to prevent the massacre of up to 6,000 persons in Srebrenica during the Bosnian war. In 2010, poor sanitation facilities at the UN’s MINUSTAH base in Meye caused the cholera epidemic1 that killed almost 8,000 people in Haiti. Moreover, as the number of PKOs has grown over the years, so have widespread accounts of inappropriate behavior and sexual exploitation by peacekeepers around the world2, notably in Haiti, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Cambodia, East Timor and the DRC.

Such failures undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as a whole. It is also a violation of the peacekeeping mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ principle, which provides the legal basis for peacekeeping operations. In this light, there is a need for accountability under two circumstances: (1) Failure to protect i.e. institutional accountability; and (2) Sexual exploitation and abuse i.e. criminal accountability. Read the rest of this entry »

Destination ‘Sustainable World 2030’: ready, set, go !

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10th  plenary meeting Closing of the High-level plenary meeting of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda
10th plenary meeting Closing of the High-level plenary meeting of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda

By Ineke De Bisschop

New York, 25th of September 2015: the leaders of all 193 member states of the United Nations sign the agenda ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development‘. This new development agenda and the successor of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and inequality by 2030. Central pillars of the Agenda are the 5 P’s: people (living in dignity), planet (protecting the planet), prosperity (opportunities for personal development), peace (freedom from fear and violence) and partnership (a renewed global solidarity to leave no one behind). Read the rest of this entry »

Did United Nations Peacekeeping achieve what it set out to do?

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By Nayana Das

With the United Nations (UN) having recently celebrated seventy years of the historic UN Charter which was signed on 26 June 1945, an opportune moment has risen for us as an international community to celebrate the many enduring milestones achieved by the organisation since its establishment.

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The Calais Crisis: UN rapporteur slams Britain’s “xenophobic response” to migrants

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by Modupe Macaulay

Photo source: Getty Images.
Photo source: Getty Images.

Images of tracksuit-clad migrants jumping on high-speed locomotives have become the norm of recent. French police reported that they have intercepted over 18,000 clandestine migrants attempting to illegally enter the United Kingdom on lorries, trains and ferries in the first half of 2015 alone. Current reports suggest that approximately 4,000 migrants are living in self-made ghettos on the outskirts of Calais with 100 – 150 new arrivals everyday, all desperate to reach the United Kingdom.

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