UNO you know blog

Flogged for Blogging

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raif badawi.png
Photo source : RFI

By Flavio Baroffio

When writing my articles for the “UNO, You Know?!” Blog I don’t have to fear to be thrown into jail or being tortured for expressing my opinions. Unfortunately that could happen to me if I lived in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is now in jail for already three years because he was doing exactly the same thing I did : expressing his opinion in a blog. His wife Ensaf Haidar, now living in exile in Canada with their three children, was a guest at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. She was interviewed by the journalist Tom Gross. In the following article I would like to share with you the story of Raif Badawi based on the interview given by his wife. Read the rest of this entry »

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Land grabbing – NGOs giving the UN a push

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by Tuuli Orasmaa

pepsi
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 »

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 »

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 »