University of Geneva

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 »

Environmentally displaced people: Desertification is creating an inhospitable home for families in the Sahel Zone

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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!

dispalced-people-sudan-cc-UN-PhotoTim-McKulka

By Ashli Molina

The Sahel Zone, home to 17 African countries such as Mali, Liberia, Niger, and Chad, has severely felt the effects of climate change. And its people are suffering the irrevocable consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Super Cyclone Winston hits Fiji, leaving many dead and homeless

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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. Has Fiji had time to recover?

Winston

By Ashli Molina

Super-cyclone Winston, a category five storm, hit Fiji on Sunday, February 21, wiping out entire villages and leaving as many as 42 individuals dead. With winds blasts reaching 325km/h and waves up to 12m high, it has been described as the strongest cyclone in Fiji’s history. Read the rest of this entry »

The (Un)Holy City: Violence Erupts in Jerusalem

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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 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…

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epa04298597 Palestinians throw stones on Israeli police (not seen) at Al-Aqsa compound in the old city of Jerusalem, at the end of the first Friday prayer in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 04 July 2104. Israeli authorities limited the age of Muslims from West Bank allowed to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque by the age of 50 for men and 40 for women, a very low numbers of Palestinians mange to attend the prayer. EPA/MAHFOUZ ABU TURK

 

By Gilad Bronshtein

Jerusalem has no single past. The historical narrative of the holy city is as changing as its ethnic and religious diversity. Home to some of the holiest sites of Israel’s major religions, the shifting identity of Jerusalem is made and remade with each telling of its long history. However, an unbearable consistency is provided by the reality of conflict within the disputed city. Jerusalem has long been a symbol of the fragile coexistence and volatile tension that underlie the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 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 »

Current state of affairs in Syria

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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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Press Conference Intra-Syrian Talks with Bashar Ja’afari representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN, Geneva, 2016.03.16. UN Photo/Anne-Laure Lechat.

 

By Taner Toraman

As the peace talks are gearing up in Geneva, major changes have been recently taking place in Syria. The cessation of hostilities has been holding, by and large, for two weeks now, which enabled humanitarian aid to reach hundreds of thousands of Syrians. During a press encounter on March 9, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, informed the world about what has been achieved so far on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN 2016: The WHO committee proposes concrete solutions

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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. In the past few days, we have had the honour of publishing reports on the six committees’ debates, brought to you by the journalists of the GIMUN Chronicles.

WHO

By Rosalyne Reber, translated by Marie-Ambrym Thivoyon

After a week full of emotions, new experiences and knowledge sharing, GIMUN’s 17th Annual Conference ended with a very moving and impressive closing ceremony during which appreciation for the work carried out by the event’s organisers over the last few months was shown and their roles were explained. This conference, which took place in the impressive setting of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, was a great success. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN 2016: HRC – A week of ups, downs, and strides forward

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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. 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.

HRC

By Ashli Molina

After five days, 30+ hours, and several coffee breaks, the Human Rights Council succeeded in debating topics pertinent to our global society. Read the rest of this entry »

GIMUN 2016: A New “Model”, ECOSOC

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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. 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.

ECOSOC

By Roberta Marangi

Thirty hours, twenty-five delegates, five full days, a presidency made of two highly professional members, two journalists, taking turns in recounting all that has happened in the Salle XXVI of the Palais des Nations. And one final report to try and bring back to life all that has happened. Read the rest of this entry »

The E.U. should not be proud of the new refugee deal with Turkey

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As GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016 is taking place this week, we will be giving you exclusive access to one article a day published in the conference newspaper, at the same moment as the participants and in both of our languages. Check out GIMUN’s website for the full version of the GIMUN Chronicles!

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By Ashli Molina

While Europe agreed to “close” its migrant route, blocking asylum seekers from reaching its soil, Turkey agreed to welcome them into their camps with open arms. This was made possible by a deal—let’s call it a migrant exchange—formed earlier this week at a summit between the European Union and Turkey, who put up a tough fight. The country demanded a lot of financial aid to help refugees stay in Turkey, accelerated talks about joining the E.U., and visa-free travel within the E.U. for Turkish citizens. The new deal, however, betrays European values, human rights, and fails to provide an adequate response regarding the worsening refugee crisis. It is a quick fix that benefits all of Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Britain and the EU: Defining Change

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By Frederick Brock

The Context

A recent poll conducted by ORB International put British support for withdrawing from European Union membership at 52%.[1] This figure fluctuates from month to month, with June-September showing a consistent lead for staying in and current support for remaining in the EU at 48%. With such a close race to the finish and a referendum on membership around the corner in 2017, it seems remarkable that the continental press is paying so little attention to what’s going on. The political ramifications of ‘Brexit’ – aka British exit – could be more far reaching than even the migration crisis in terms of its impact on Europe’s future. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday at the MUN Delegation (week 6)

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By Nour Honein

GIMUN’s MUN Delegation session is drawing to an end. Seems like our delegates-to-be are ready to go out into the “real world”!

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Read the rest of this entry »

Land grabbing – NGOs giving the UN a push

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

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On 15th April, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a news brief celebrating a second multinational company’s, PepsiCo’s, decision to support international guidelines on sustainable land tenure governance. The first one, Coca-Cola Company, made the move in November 2013. But why is this news worth noting? First of all, this may be seen as an important step in the fight against the global “land grabbing” phenomenon and secondly, this shows the power civil society organizations may have in issues the United Nations is struggling with. Read the rest of this entry »

Migration – Winners and Losers

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by Larissa Spescha

taken from: http://www.emergingmarkets.org/Article/2844077/Africa-must-avoid-repeating-commodity-boom-mistakes.html
taken from: http://www.emergingmarkets.org/Article/2844077/Africa-must-avoid-repeating-commodity-boom-mistakes.html

Migration. Nowadays migration is a heavily discussed topic in the media. It has become even more since the Swiss have adopted the ‘Stop mass immigration’ initiative that calls for quotas for all foreign nationals, on 9th February 2014. This desire to limit the number of foreigners shows the up-to-dateness of ‘migration’.

But what exactly are the effects of migration? Are they rather beneficial or disadvantageous for a country? Sir Paul Collin, a professor from Oxford University, analyses the impact migration has on countries, in particular developing countries. He shared his point of view at the conference entitled ‘Migration – Winners and Losers’ which was organized by the Graduate Institute in Geneva (IHEID) on 29th  April.
Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainability, Equity and Growth – Change is the Key

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Palais de Nations, Geneva

by Alina Suvila

It seems like a never-ending discussion about sustainable development and climate change. But there is a very good reason for it: now is the time to act. Three notable personalities discussed various possibilities for action in a public conference named ”Sustainable Development on a Warming Planet?” on 24th April 2014 at the Palais de Nations, Geneva. Read the rest of this entry »

A Ladder to Damascus – A film review

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by Leandra Hildbrand and Larissa Spescha

“A ladder to Damascus” is a 2013 drama directed by the Syrian filmmaker Mohamed Malas. It was screened at the “International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva” which took place from 4th to 13th of April. Read the rest of this entry »

Feminist Fangirl: A talk by IR legend J Ann Tickner

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by Sarah Payne

taken from: http://www.american.edu/uploads/profiles/large/SIS%2520Tickner.jpg
taken from: http://www.american.edu/uploads/profiles/large/SIS%2520Tickner.jpg

High on many reading lists on issues of security and feminism, J Ann Tickner is a familiar name for any International Relations student. For this reason, I was really excited to see her deliver a guest lecture at the Graduate Institute Geneva on 14th April 2014, entitled “Dealing with Difference: Problems and Possibilities for Dialogue in International Relations”, and tackling concepts like discrimination and epistemology of discourse  -as problematic and diverse as feminism – all within the hour. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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So long and thanks for all the fish?

by Euan O’Neill

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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

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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 »

Zaatari: the biggest Syrian town in Jordan

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by Pauline Mettan, translated by Charlotte Grey

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26908587
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26908587

Demographic pressure has become too much for our country. Jordan has opened its doors to more than 560,000 Syrian refugees since the conflict began, with 70% being women and children. Within a year, refugees will be 40% of our population. 96% of our energy is imported. Water is scarce. Our budget deficit is sky high. How can we keep up this poor balancing act when wave upon wave of immigrants are draining our already rare resources? Read the rest of this entry »

7 Days in Kigali, and how genocide ripped through Rwanda

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By Yura Azevedo, translated by Lucy Cumming

On Monday 7th April, Rwanda paid tribute to the most extreme genocide in history – 800,000 deaths in less than one hundred days – and one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century. A mere 20 years ago: the Rwandan Tutsi genocide. Read the rest of this entry »

World Urban Forum 2014: Recipe for a better urban future

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by Lea Gleixner

25,000 meet in Medellín at UN-Habitat’s biennial conference

It is home to more than half of the world’s population, it is filled with human capacity, central to the big dream of millions, the cradle of new languages, music, art, the hope of many and likely to also be a traffic- and environmental nightmare: the city. Since the early 1970s, a great many of development strategies and programs had focused on rural development. Today both industrialized and developing countries are facing a challenge not quite unrelated, but definitely on the opposite side of the rural sphere – Urbanization.

From the April 5 – 11, around 25,000 experts from different disciplines and over 164 countries are gathered at the World Urban Forum in Medellín under this year’s conference theme “Urban equityin development – Cities for Life”. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Energy Independence a Myth, Other Options Possible

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By Wassim Cornet and Easha Acharya

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Politicians across the American political spectrum have long advocated an energy policy that would ultimately lead to a so-called “energy independence”. Time and time again, this independence has been hailed as the solution to the average American paying high gas prices. During the last presidential campaign, Michelle Bachman and Newt Gingrich even announced specific amounts to which they would lower gas prices ($2 and $2.50 per gallon, respectively). Read the rest of this entry »

France is alone in the Central African Republic

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By Juliette Darrousez and Julie Seemann-Ricard, translated by Charlotte Grey

From the very beginning, France has made international mobilisation in the Central African Republic a priority. In November 2013, Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs, announced that “France will be there” and “it will act so that the Central African Republic can hope again”. Operation Sangaris’ goal was to break the cycle of violence in the Central African Republic, and then give humanitarian aid to victims. The “anti-balakas” militia, created to defend the Séléka, have effectively lost sight of their initial goal and started targeting civilians. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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.

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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 »

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 »

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