The US, Ukraine’s biggest fan

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by Regina Oladipo

taken from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/06/congress-obama-russia-sanctions/6118199/
taken from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/06/congress-obama-russia-sanctions/6118199/

It would seem that the United States are struggling to maintain a strong hand over the situation in Ukraine. Whilst other European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom are taking a rather wimpy and weak approach to the issues with Russia. America has made active gestures to attempt a unification of Europe against the federation of Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

Correa and his European campaign

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By Claire Gossart and Simon Rousseau, translated by Charlotte Grey

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On 6 November 2013 at the University of Paris, Ecuador president Rafael Correa delivered his views on resolving the European crisis, by drawing upon past Latin-American lessons.

The Latin America of the 1980s would have fallen victim to an imperialist plot, led by the United States, who were hoping to once again take control of the sub-continent through treacherous means. Following the 1970s crisis, the majority of Latin American countries were insolvent. They were denied international loans, but were also suffering from the sharp increase in interest rates from places such as the Federal Reserve in the United States. The IMF “kindly” offered aid by granting loans to pay off their debts, but while eventually imposing conditions as underhand as they were drastic. International institutions have hidden their economic ideology in science. Correa had a mission in going to France, and it was partly to enlighten ill-advised Europeans. At last, Latin America is the one giving advice. Read the rest of this entry »

WMDs in the Middle East: Israel Is Behaving in the Manner of a “Thug State”

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taken from: http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/iran-refusing-nuclear-conversations-with-israel/
taken from: http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/iran-refusing-nuclear-conversations-with-israel/

by Wassim Cornet

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily represent the journalist’s point of view. It is supposed to analyze the situation through the eyes of a specific country, in this case Iran.

Responding to continuous allegations by the United States and Israel that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Iran has reiterated its position, stating that it has not and will not seek to develop these, and that it believes that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and nuclear weapons around the world should be annihilated. Read the rest of this entry »

Washington’s efforts to put and end to North Korean proliferation, not enough?

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by Nayana Das

taken from: http://www.glocal.org.hk/articles/14217
taken from: http://www.glocal.org.hk/articles/14217

In an alarming development last week, North Korea demonstrated its ballistic missile capabilities by launching two mid-range missiles, a move which makes global observers very nervous. South Korean Defense Ministry alleges that North Korea also test-fired 30 short-range rockets on Saturday, the umpteenth addition to a series of tests conducted this year. Marie Harf, State Department spokeswoman, said yesterday that these launches were “a troubling and provocative escalation that the United States takes very seriously”. Clearly, the North has wasted no time in intensifying its nuclear weapons programme, especially its pursuit of ICBMs. Read the rest of this entry »

Iranian nuclear power – Germany’s impact

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By Pauline Mettan, translated by Charlotte Grey

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In his celebrated poem, West-ostlicher Divan, Goethe’s dedication to the Iranian poet Hafez begins “My intention is to link East and West, past and present, Persian and German, and to have the mores and modes of thought of both sides overlap one another.” And so our friendship with Iran was formed. Read the rest of this entry »

Survival and acceptance of nuclear energy in Brazil

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by Medgy Liburd

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Nuclear power plants are still a novelty in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. So far, there are two in Argentina, two in Mexico and two in Brazil (where a third one is on construction).

Like Argentina, Brazil had projects on nuclear energy technology based on natural uranium since the mid-1930s. After abandoning these first projects, the Brazilian government focused on the next plan: Angra 1 in 1985 (a nuclear power plant), followed by Angra 2 in 2001 and the construction of Angra 3 that should be operational by 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

No solutions to the machete in the Central African Republic

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by Simon Rousseau, translated by Charlotte Grey

Central African Republic support

The storm blowing across the Central African Republic is nothing new. Indeed, since its independence in 1960, the country has been in the grip of serious political and humanitarian crises which are hardly suitable conditions for sorting out the incredibly bad economy. The storm became a hurricane in March 2013 when Séléka rebels – predominantly Muslims – ousted President Bozizé, leading to a period of unprecedented violence. Christians, initially persecuted by militant ex-Séléka fighters, have seen Christian anti-balakas respond to the abuse with their own acts of violence. This has resulted in hostile attitudes towards predominantly Muslim Chadian Central Africans. Read the rest of this entry »

Violence in the Central African Republic Leads to a Humanitarian Crisis of Epic Proportions

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by Wassim Cornet

Central African Republic Crisis

The crisis in the Central African Republic, one of the least developed countries in the world, stems from the ongoing tensions that have rocked Central Africa for decades. According to a recent report issued by Human Rights Watch, 30,000 Muslims have been forced to flee their homes in the recent violence. This dramatic number along with continuous warnings of ethnic cleansing makes the understanding of this conflict very important. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN is back, better than ever!

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by Hanna Muhammad & Regina Oladipo

It’s finally here! The Geneva International Model United Nations conference. After much anticipation, yesterday arrived, bringing with it a new and stimulating journey.

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Read the rest of this entry »

‘My favourite word is freedom’ – Human Rights Council on North Korea

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

On Monday, 17th March 2014 the 25th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva focussed on an important issue of the four-week conference: the Interactive Dialogue on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In one of the most eagerly expected events of the Council, the Commission of Inquiry[1] presented its report on the human rights situation in the DPRK followed by comments from the member states of the Council, as well as from certain human rights organizations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of the press in Burma

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by Ayoub El Moudne, translated by Charlotte Gray

taken from: http://www.burmapartnership.org/tag/media-freedom/
taken from: http://www.burmapartnership.org/tag/media-freedom/

It was during an always unlucky Friday 13th at the Geneva Press Club that Ma Thida’s press conference took place. But who is Ma Thida? She is a surgeon and a writer. But she is also a former political prisoner, and, for some, a hero – and it is impossible to mention heroic political prisoners without remembering the late great Nelson Mandela and the select group that both he and Ma Thida are a part of: people who are improving the world through peaceful action in their own country. Today, her courage, her drive, and her love for an honourable debate can be seen in her two magazines, as well as her radio show for young people. But is the press, which she represents, really free? This is the theme behind the “Freedom of the press in Burma” question and answer session. Read the rest of this entry »

Conflict, Classification and Controversy: Two articles on the War Report 2012

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By Sarah Payne

The first ever annual report of armed violence and conflict was launched this week by the Geneva Academy, representing a significant and possibly very controversial account of the changing nature of global conflict and the application of international law. Read the rest of this entry »

HUMAN RIGHTS IN PEACEFUL PROTEST

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By Euan O’Neill

Photo by Felipe Kup Barbieri de Matos

On the second of December 2013, after a weekend in which the Ukrainian protests had been cemented in the public consciousness, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights held a seminar at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on effective measures and best practices to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests. The Seminar comprised a panel of international legal and human rights experts, representing states, academia and human rights organisations and its findings were reported to the Human Rights Council. Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone is submissive, but is everyone free to choose how?

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by Ayoub El Moudne, translated by Katrina Barnes

With his Darwinian air, weathered by observing personality and human interaction, Professor Jean-Léon Beauvois, indisputable expert in social psychology, honoured us with a conference entitled “impressions and illusions of freedom, a point of reflection for educational sciences”. For an hour and a half, he discussed the dualities between autonomy and necessary education, individual freedom and conformity, social liberty and submission. Read the rest of this entry »

Behind the scenes of the Arab spring

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

copyright Friederike Wipfler
photo by Friederike Wipfler

On November 29th, an ‘anticapitalist, feminist and ecologic movement’ based in the French part of Switzerland called SolidaritéS, organized a two-days’ debate around the constantly current topic of the Arab spring: Mass movements and revolutionary processes in the Middle East and North Africa. Many different angles were treated to give the audience a more complete image of the phenomena but the most enlightening speech took a look of what is happening behind the scenes: the impact of the petrol states on the Arab spring. Read the rest of this entry »

What do the next 50 years hold for Europe?

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by Ahmed Ben Abdallah, translated by Lucy Cumming

Manuel José Barroso (photo by Cornelia Iatu)
Manuel José Barroso (photo by Cornelia Iatu)

Nowadays, the future of Europe is subject to a fairly bleak prognosis, with the financial recession continuing to put the institutions of the European Union to the test. Yet over and above this economic slump, the number of hopeful prospects and initiatives is growing and keeping alive the dream of a Europe capable of captivating the rest of the world by setting not merely a contemporary example worthy of observation, but one to follow and from which much can be learnt. Read the rest of this entry »

World Food Day 2013 – A Challenge of nine billion mouths

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

World Food Day 2013 was once again celebrated on 16th October for the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO,  of the United Nations. For the third time the University of Geneva organized an event dealing with this topic, this time in collaboration with the FAO, the World Food Program (WFP) and Swissaid Genève.

worldfooddaypic

The title of the event, ‘9 billion habitants by 2050 – How to feed them in an equitable and sustainable way?’ included both the fundamental issue FAO is working on – how to feed the world –  and the current trend of approaching development from a sustainable point of view. Indeed it should be acknowledged that we really need to look further into the future. In a few years times there will be around two billion more people to feed. The four speakers of the evening had a tough topic to discuss.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our translators

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Team archive

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These journalists, translators and editors worked with us in the past but are no longer active.

Social protection and food security: Two sides of the same coin?

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by Alexandra Ilic

On the 19th of March, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development held a conference at the Palais Nations to discuss social protection and food security issues. The speaker for the event, Stephen Devereux, is a development economist, working on food security and social protection, in particular in Africa. He works at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Susex. For more informations, please visit: http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BD6AB/(httpEvents)/4EB3064CBBFF69C8C1257B1D0034F133?OpenDocument

This conference was largely based on the report by the high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition (June 2012). Stephen Devereux was a team leader for this report. The report, written by the Committee of World Food Security, was an attempt to put food security and social protection together. Read the rest of this entry »

International Women’s Day 2013

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by Jacqueline Douniama; translation by Claudia Bragman

On 7 March 2013, the “International Women’s Day; Protection & Promoting Women’s Rights” conference was held in the Palais des Nations. This was a taster session before the International Women’s Day taking place the next day. If anyone thought that this event only catered for radical feminists, they were wrong. On the contrary, the conference was led by a variety of key figures (although, one must admit that men were in the minority). These individuals came from various regions and most of them were lecturers, directors or representatives of international organisations that aim to develop women’s rights in specific contexts. Read the rest of this entry »

Reforming the Working Methods of the UN Security Council

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by Lena Becker

On October 31st, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva organized a conference on “Reforming the working methods of the United Nations Security Council”. It assembled a group of high-profile academics and practitioners working  on UN issues, including the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in Geneva and Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations. The occasion was a reform proposal by Small Five (Switzerland, Costa Rica, Liechtensctein, Jordan, Singapore) from April 2012. (For more information, please see : http://graduateinstitute.ch/corporate/resources/events_types/calendarofevents_en.html?evenementId=148008.) Read the rest of this entry »

Swiss Courts Prosecute International Crimes

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by Alexandra Ilic; translated into English by Claudia Bragman

(Conference-debate on Thursday 15 November 2012)

This debate was organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the Academy of Humanitarian Law. Participants included Dr. Sévane Garibian, doctor of law, Professor Marco Sassoli, also a former delegate of the ICRC, Maître Philip Grant, lawyer and TRIAL director, and Maitre Philippe Currat, lawyer and doctor of law.

As Maitre Philip Grant underlined, such an event could never have taken place or, at least, never have brought together so many people 20 years ago. Therefore, the very existence of this conference does indeed prove that a new culture, fighting against impunity, is emerging. Read the rest of this entry »

The Challenges of Global Governance in a Changing World

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Camille Dufresne ; translated into English by Claudia Bragman

On Thursday 25 October Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, made a speech as part of the various programmes led by the University of Geneva to celebrate Switzerland’s 10-year membership to the UN. Mr Tokayev initially defined the current major upheavals; he then went on to discuss their repercussions on the UN. Read the rest of this entry »

Switzerland’s Commitments as a Neutral State within the United Nations

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by Jacqueline Douniama ; translatetd into English by Claudia Bragman

The UN is the most well-known organisation across the globe. It has a strong presence in the media, where it is mentioned almost daily. It strives to maintain peace and guarantee international security. It is interesting to try and understand how Switzerland contributes to UN projects. The Swiss Foreign Policy Forum (« Foraus ») organised an conference on 17 October 2012 and this provided us with more information on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

Youth Perspectives 3rd edition / 29 Nov – 2 Dec 2012

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by Marie-Ambrym Thivoyon ; translated into English by Claudia Bragman

From 29 November to 2 December 2012, around fifty young students and professionals from all around the world gathered for Youth Perspectives organised by GIMUN. This event was unlike the annual conference held in March where students speak as State delegates. In this case, Youth Perspectives gives each person the opportunity to express him or herself as an individual and debate on topics related to youth, using their own experiences. The theme of the event was « the role of young people in achieving the Millennium Development Goals » and the aim was to find concrete solutions for reducing poverty in areas of migration, voluntary work, social media and unemployment. Consequently, the participants were divided into four discussion groups of around twelve people who were supervised by two moderators. Read the rest of this entry »

Switzerland’s 10 Year Membership to the UN

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Joachim Leger; translated into English by Claudia Bragman

On 24 October, the “Decade” jubilee took place at the Palais des Nations. The event was held to celebrate Switzerland’s 10 year membership to the UN. It was centred around several main topics (human rights, security council reform, disarmament, peacebuilding, the environment and ethnic minorities). These reflect various issues that Switzerland has highlighted as a Member State. GIMUN worked with the SAJV, JUNES and Youth Rep to organise the festivities. (For more information, go to http://decade2012.webs.com/organizers.) Read the rest of this entry »

Language services at the United Nations

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Orphée Mouthuy; translated into English by Claudia Bragman

On Tuesday 23 October 2012, Ms Marie-Josée de Saint-Robert, chief of the Language Services Department, Ms Irène Abrahamian, UN interpreter, and Mr Jesús  Guerrero, chief of the Languages section, gave a presentation on the different sections of the Languages Services Department at the United Nations. This took place as part of the seminar on Switzerland’s 10-year membership to the UN. Indeed in the United Nations, linguistic diversity is divided into three main areas: translation, interpreting and language training. Read the rest of this entry »

32nd World Food Day

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Charlotte Ruiz

translated into English by Claudia Bragman

The 32nd World Food Day took place on 16 October 2012. The FAO and the University of Geneva organised a round table for the occasion. This included Jean Ziegler, the vice-president of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and former first rapporteur for the United Nations on the right to food, Fabien Pouille, senior agronomist at the ICRC, Cecile Molinier, Director of the United Nations Development Programme in Geneva and Laurence Boisson de Chozournes, professor of international law and international organisations and member of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Read the rest of this entry »

UNO, You know?! – The Blog

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What is GIMUN?

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Welcome to UNO – You know?!, GIMUN’s blog

The Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) is a Geneva based Non Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Run entirely by students, its aim is to promote the ideals and principles of the United Nations by giving students a chance to participate in educative events.

GIMUN is intended to serve as a permanent platform on which young people could discuss international affairs, the role of the United Nations and its values. An annual conference, debates, study trips and the creation of a MUN society which meets weekly are some of GIMUN’s main projects. UNO-You know?! also started as an online journal integrated in GIMUN’s website.

Since 2012 when it first appeared, UNO-You know?! has seen some changes. Today the blog has a separate website. Half of the editorial staff and the contributors are international students based outside Switzerland, although we still keep a strong presence in Geneva. More information about the team is available under “Our Team” tab.

If you would like to keep track of the blog’s publications, sign up to receive notifications for new posts. Finally, if you would like to become a contributor to UNO-You know?!, let us know by writing to blog@gimun.org.

We wish you pleasant reading!

Yours,

Melanie and Petya,

Editors-in-chief