-

blog UNO you know

Female entrepreneurship: laws are not enough

Link Posted on Updated on

female entrepreneurs.png

By Nour Honein

While there is much concern over the lack of female entrepreneurs in first world countries, the gender gap in developing countries is even greater. Poverty, lack of proper identifying information, and little to no access to banking services leave more than 1.3 billion women out of the formal financial system (World Bank). These women then lack the basic financial tools necessary for asset ownership and economic empowerment. But is this the only obstacle? 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

Link Posted on Updated on

160305-casques-bleus-et-uniformes.jpg
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 »

Tunisia : Land of Hope in the Arab World

Link Posted on Updated on

42-42890300_72dpi.jpg
©A. LE GALL/DEMOTIX/CORBIS

By Flavio Baroffio

Tunisia is considered to be the cradle of the Arab Spring which has changed drastically the political landscape of the Middle East. It all started in December 2010 when mass protestations broke out in Tunisia because the people were discontent with the economic, political situation and the all-occurring corruption. Shortly after, in January 2011 the former ruler of Tunisia, Ben-Ali, had to step down[1]. Three years later, in 2014, democratic parliamentary elections were held and a new Constitution was adopted. The uprising in Tunisia inspired many other democratic movements in the Arab world, but Tunisia remains the only country where democracy took root. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to say goodbye to stereotypes

Link Posted on Updated on

This article was published in the printed version of the GIMUN Chronicles, the newspaper of GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016, two months ago. We thought we’d give you a chance to rediscover it!

Rabadan_e_carnevale_b01

By Michelle Bognuda

In today’s world, people are forced to leave their homeland because of wars. January and February are particularly special months for Ticino’s young people because this is the time when carnival celebrations take place. Although these two statements do not seem to be linked, this year there was a logical connection. Swiss cantons which border other countries, such as Ticino or Geneva, are particularly touchy about immigrants, people in search of political asylum and, last but not least, cross-border workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Calais : the story of a wild “jungle”

Link Posted on Updated on

calais.png

By Sylvia Revello, translated by Gwénaëlle Janiaud

“Rural camp” turned “jungle”: Calais’s refugee camp recently acquired a reputation as “France’s first slum”. The French authorities have spent weeks demolishing the camp. The site, located near the Channel Tunnel, spans several hundred hectares and shelters 3,500-6,000 migrants who have mainly travelled from Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea. Shacks, tents and other makeshift shelters that up until now housed more than 1,000 migrants in the southern part of the camp were torn down by bulldozers and anti-riot police. After a few tense days, which were marked by violent clashes between migrants, activists campaigning against border controls and the police, the evacuation process appears to have been carried out peacefully. As flames slowly engulf the wooden and corrugated iron walls of the migrants’ shacks, some are denouncing this bitter episode, which has done nothing to resolve the migrant crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

Your cameras can free Palestine

Link Posted on Updated on

The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. Yes, it was over a month ago, but it turns out the GIMUN Chronicles journalists had not said their last word! When the conference ended, they still had a few more articles left for us…

YAS.png
Crédit : Facebook / youthagainstsettlement

By Valentina San Martin, translated by John Ryan-Mills

Freedom is relative : although everyone is born free, various laws continually force people to spend their lives living in restricted freedom. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”.

During the first Arab-Israeli war, which began in 1948,the Israelis took control of a large area of land that still forms part of their state today. The partition which followed this war led to the forced exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, who for the most part took shelter in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, or Syria. At present, Palestine remains an occupied and marginalized territory, owingnotably to the failure of numerous attempts at international negotiation led by powerful nations, but above all to politicians and a dominant media who remain indifferent to a nation that has been subjugated for decades.

This is why in 2012 a non-violent protest group named Youth Against Settlements (YAS) was formed, with the aim of ending the establishment and expansion of illegal Israeli colonies through non-violent protests and civil resistance. Read the rest of this entry »

Berta Cáceres : Activist to the last

Link Posted on Updated on

militer jusqu'à la mort.png

By Sylvia Revello, translated by Emily Milne

 Her battle cost her her life. On the 3rd of March, the Honduran environmental activist was murdered in her home in La Esperanza, in the north west of the country, under suspicious circumstances. Described as a “politically motivated crime committed by the government” the tragedy has provoked an international outcry. It demonstrates, if that were even necessary, just how tragically the power struggles between multinational companies and indigenous peoples can turn out. Known for speaking out against the harmful consequences posed to the indigenous Lenca people by the hydroelectric dam, Agua Zarca, the 42-year old activist was no stranger to threats and scare tactics. Now she has paid the price for her freedom of expression. While Amnesty International laments the “numerous flaws in the investigation”, the Honduran authorities maintain that her death was nothing more than a burglary gone wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Is the world turning back to authoritarianism ?

Link Posted on Updated on

096704a

By Cristina Valdés Argüelles

The 23rd of February 2016, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place in Geneva, assembling hundreds of activists, human rights promoters, former political prisoners from China, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, among other countries, international human rights NGOs and interested listeners. This ceremony is held every year to lay the cards on the table ; to examine the international current situation ; to address actual human rights violations ; to listen to testimonies of true human rights heroes; to promote democracy and freedom ; to join forces so as to find solutions and, most important, to make the world a better place to live.

During the conference, an interesting discussion came up: Over the past decade, totalitarian authorities have raised and gained more power internationally, repressing the growth of democracy and undermining the population’s rights and values. It might be assumable that humanity, after more than three million years of evolution since the Australopithecus apheresis Lucy, has reached a great level of evolution and promotion of the values of human rights. However, the reality of the global arena seems to point into the opposite direction. Is the world coming back to authoritarianism? Read the rest of this entry »

RIMUN Delegation 2016

Posted on Updated on

IMG_3559.jpg

By Flavio Baroffio

Once again GIMUN was sending a delegation to a MUN conference organized by Sciences Po Reims. This time the delegation was headed to the French city of Reims, the capital of champagne. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN 2016 : For the DISEC Committee, an intense and rewarding week

Posted on Updated on

DISEC.jpg

The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. In the next few days, we will have the honour of publishing reports on the six committees’ debates, brought to you by the journalists of the GIMUN Chronicles.

By Noémie Stockhammer, translated by John Ryan-Mills

Summing up a week like the one we just had promises to be a complex task, in part due to the sheer number of things to talk about for me to fully cover the week in its entirety. But all the same, I’m going to try. Read the rest of this entry »

Security Council: An eventful week for GIMUN’s enfant terrible!

Posted on Updated on

SC

The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. In the next few days, we will have the honour of publishing reports on the six committees’ debates, brought to you by the journalists of the GIMUN Chronicles.

By Anaïs Anthoine-Milhomme, translated by John Ryan-Mills

 The week of debates in the Security Council was certainly problematic. Kicking off with a discussion of the principles and definition of cyberwarfare, the States were interrupted by a major crisis. The attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, in Afghanistan, would lead to a series of disturbances within the Council. Debates were then centered on this crisis: how would the Council deal with such an important attack? How would they be able to help the hostages who still remained in the embassy? Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN 2016 : Concrete Solutions for the Legal Committee

Posted on Updated on

LEGAL

The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. In the next few days, we will have the honour of publishing reports on the six committees’ debates, brought to you by the journalists of the GIMUN Chronicles.

By Emilie Lopes Franco, translated by John Ryan-Mills

For the Legal Committee, the week proved itself to be rich in emotions. The first debates, about the judgement on peacekeepers who had committed offences while on mission, began with ups and downs. Each State had their own values which were often difficult to put aside. The compromises were the result of long discussions: the key issue was the addition of an independent body to judge the soldiers. On Tuesday evening, the President of the Commission had call the delegates to order: compromises had to be made in order to find a resolution, for the good of everyone. Each delegation aimed to remain open to change and growth. On Wednesday at midday, the resolution for the first subject was finally sent to the presidency. Read the rest of this entry »

The Yemen Conflict – What Role Does Iran Play?

Posted on Updated on

elaph
Source : http://elaph.com/

By Camille de Félice, translated by Amy Reid and Emily Milne

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Yemen has experienced a series of significant demonstrations. These demonstrations led to President Saleh stepping down in November 2011, and being replaced by Mansour Hadi in February 2012. Quickly, the north of the country was engulfed in rising tensions, which progressively spread to other provinces. Read the rest of this entry »

Scanning ISIS: What has been going on in the past year and a half?

Posted on Updated on

In light of recent events, GIMUN’s blog has decided to publish a special series on the theme of terrorism. This first article will be followed by different perspectives on this subject over the next few weeks, presented to you by various journalists.

Iraqi_T-55_tank_at_Camp_Taji
Source: Creative Commons

Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 5)

Posted on Updated on

By Nour Honein

Last week, MUN Delegation participants were in for a rather special session: a workshop conducted by negotiation expert Henri-Jean Tolone. Thanks to this, the next few weeks’ debates should prove even more interesting!

Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 4)

Posted on Updated on

By Nour Honein

Every week, a participant in this GIMUN activity gives us her perspective on the latest session. Find out what happened in last week’s session…

12140045_985253738183913_3035538546772679660_o Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 3)

Posted on Updated on

By Nour Honein

Every week, a participant in this GIMUN activity gives us her perspective on the latest session. Find out what happened in last week’s session…

10847724_879769552065666_1912051882486853041_o Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 2)

Posted on Updated on

By Nour Honein

Every week, a participant in this GIMUN activity gives us her perspective on the latest session. Find out what happened in last week’s session…

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 1)

Posted on Updated on

Every week, a participant in this GIMUN activity gives us her perspective on the latest session. Follow the series to keep track of how debates are progressing…

Read the rest of this entry »

A Bright Future for Northern Nigerian Schoolgirls?

Posted on Updated on

by Modupe Macaulay 

01-20-2015Nigeria_School
Photo: UN News Centre UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0710/Eseibo

The 15th of April 2014 marked a turning point in Nigerian politics with the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, northern Nigeria. The world awakened to the plight of young girls in developing nations pursuing education in societies blighted by terrorism and patriarchal belief systems. However, amidst the turmoil of unspeakable violence can local girls see any hope for the future? 

Read the rest of this entry »

Call for Journalists June 2015

Posted on

screen-shot-2014-03-02-at-2-26-28-pmAre you an aspiring writer or translator? Would you like to get more practice and publish your work in an established student journal? Are you interested in international news?

Join the team of  UNO You Know !?

Requirements for a writer:
– interest in international affairs and/or law
– availability to dedicate 10 hours per month to the blog

Please send a CV and a short cover letter accompanied by writing samples to blog@gimun.org before 30th June 2015. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

‘Crops’ or ‘Carats’? Gold mining and cocoa production in Ghana

Posted on Updated on

By Stephen Yeboah, Research Fellow, Africa Progress Panel

For the past two decades, gold mining and agriculture have contributed consistently to economic growth and development in Ghana. In 2013, gold mining contributed US$3,673 million in exports. Agriculture employed about 60 per cent of the active labour force and cocoa, the leading cash crop, contributed an estimated US$1,731 million in exports in 2013 (Government of Ghana 2013). While farming is the traditional source of livelihood, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has emerged in communities endowed with natural resources as a lucrative activity due to its remarkable income-generating potential.

Mining and agriculture may co-exist and interact to generate economic and social benefits, but at the same time they compete for land, water resources and labour. On the one hand, land is seized for mining that otherwise could be used for farming; labour is attracted away from agriculture into mining; and mining pollutes water needed for farm irrigation. On the other hand, mining generates money that supplements the income of farmers who branch out into mining, allowing them to improve the productivity of their farms through buying inputs like fertilizers, and hiring labour (see: Hilson and Garforth 2012; 2013). Despite the importance of mining and agriculture to socio-economic development, the dynamics of their interaction have seldom received attention and are sometimes underestimated by scholars, governments, corporate entities and donors. There is a need for greater understanding of the mining–agriculture nexus to ensure that the two interact in a positive and balanced manner, producing social and economic development without disrupting the livelihoods of rural people whose lives are tied to farming. Read the rest of this entry »

The European Asylum Policy – Failure of the Dublin III Regulation?

Posted on Updated on

 by Jan Alexander Linxweiler

It is already hard to imagine what it must feel like to be displaced, to be forced to leave home, to be persecuted and not welcomed anywhere. Even harder to imagine is the horror and despair of those who die while trying to come to a presumed secure and just system – to the EU. On the 30th of September 2013 more then 300 refugees experienced this ordeal off the Italian island of Lampedusa and died in the cause. Since then reports of tragic deaths at the European boarders are becoming more and more frequent, as the number of refugees are increasing. Subsequently the influx of refugees into the EU is increasing as well. At the same time the Common European Asylum System seams to fail in providing adequate protection and reception conditions; resulting in inhuman treatment and deaths.

This paper wants to offer a reasonable and possible solution within the existing Asylum System. Therefore it presents the Refuge Protection within the two dimensions: the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Common European Asylum System. Within the Common European Asylum System the paper focuses upon the definition of the refugee status and the Dublin System. After presenting and discussing the weaknesses of this exact System the paper will present (in short) a possible solution to the raised problems and weaknesses. Read the rest of this entry »

The Evolving Space Security Regime: Implementation, Compliance and New Initiatives

Posted on Updated on

So long and thanks for all the fish?

by Euan O’Neill

euan

Whilst ancient astrologers used the position of the stars to tell the future and European explorers used the heavens to cross oceans and find ‘unknown’ territories, today we rely on signals from space to direct us to the nearest branch of Starbucks or to tell us the bus timetable. Read the rest of this entry »

Transnational feminisms, governance and development: a talk by Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay

Posted on Updated on

by Sarah Payne

http://vimeo.com/86510334
http://vimeo.com/86510334

On 10th April 2014, renowned social anthropologist Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay gave a talk at Geneva’s Graduate Insitute (IHEID) entitled “Gender knowledge and expertise in development”. In this lively, interesting and discursive talk Dr Mukhopadhyay discussed the last 30 years of global feminism, its achievements, internal divisions and scope for progress. Crucially though, she evaluated the role of transnational, local and grassroots feminisms in challenging the global hegemony of western feminism, and the implications of this for development. Read the rest of this entry »