refugee crisis

Time to say goodbye to stereotypes

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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!

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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 »

Germany: the scale has officially tipped towards the right

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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 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…

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Michelle Bognuda

About one month ago, Germany had an important weekend. Three state elections happened, and now that the results are published, it is official: radical right-wing parties are gaining more and more power. On March 13th, the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg cast their ballots. This is an important test for Angela Merkel and her Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (“Christian Democratic Union of Germany”, CDU) party, because, even though the three states have different political scenarios, polls predicted that radically right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (“Alternative for Germany”, AfD) would have had the best of the race. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN International Migrants’ Day: Dismantling Myths and Discussing Solutions for the European Migrant ‘Crisis’

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By Nayana Das

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Every year since 2000, the United Nations has been celebrating December 18th as International Migrants Day, the same day on which in 1990 the General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of this Convention and in commemoration of this day, on 11th December 2015 GIMUN organised an International Migrants Day event at the United Nations Office in Geneva. The occasion brought together 16 young participants for a panel discussion on ‘Legal Solutions for the European Refugee Crisis’ with Guest Speaker Livia Manente, Associate Expert for the Office of the Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia at the International Organisation for Migration. Read the rest of this entry »

The European Union: Outmanoeuvred by a Populist Century?

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by Frederick Brock

The number of asylum-seekers who reach the Southern coasts of Europe has soared dramatically since last year as numerous violent conflicts such as the one in Syria continue to force migration. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons)
The number of people reaching the Southern coasts of Europe in search for asylum has soared dramatically since last year. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Husein, recently criticised a columnist in a British tabloid for ‘inciting racial hatred’ and referring to migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing as ‘cockroaches.’ [1] The tabloid in question has the widest readership of any paper in Britain. The High Commissioner went on to compare the xenophobia in elements of the British press as akin to that found in propaganda produced by Rwandan media outlets prior to the genocide in the 1990’s. Self-evidently such sentiment has no place in any society that professes to be civilised, however the increasing confidence and impunity with which those not simply on the fringes of the political spectrum, but the mainstream as well, attack migrants is a worrying development for all in Europe. Our history as a continent is an illustration of where divisive, anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric can lead. The modern migrant crisis, with 1 in every 122 people displaced due to war, environmental pressures and state oppression, is a situation unprecedented in the years since the formation of the European Union. [2] This article will consider the potential havoc the invocation of resurgent nationalist identities across the continent, partially in response to this crisis, could cause to one of the biggest political projects in the modern world: the European Union.

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