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The real winners of the presidential elections in Lebanon

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Source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2016/Sep-28/374147-berri-adjourns-parliament-session-to-oct-31-for-president-vote.ashx

By Nour Honein

As you may know, for almost two and a half years, Lebanon has been without a president. Finally, on the 31st of October 2016, Michel Aoun, Christian leader and founder of the Free Patriotic Movement, has been elected as the new president of Lebanon. But who are the real winners of this election? Read the rest of this entry »

How I created a new MUN Delegation : The importance of Model United Nations

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The MUN Delegation created by Florence at the Withington Girl’s School, UK.

 

By Florence Goodrham

 

« If the United Nations does not attempt to chart a course for the world’s people in the first decades of the new millennium,who will? »

Kofi Annan

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Refugees and immigrants : open your eyes !

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Source : National Geographic

By Blanca Benitez

The large numbers of refugees coming to Europe over these last years has made lots of us very concerned. Conferences about the topic, politicians trying to offer solutions and great deal of articles in the newspapers… All of this had us wondering what we could do to help the situation. But do we really know what is going on? What can we do to help improve the situation? Two real stories from people who have suffered war, poverty and racism may make people see immigration in a different way. Read the rest of this entry »

Join us ! Call for Editor-in-chief and Head of Translators

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GIMUN is a student-led NGO with special consultative status at the UN ECOSOC. Our goal is to educate about the UN and to promote the UN values amongst the Youth. One of our projects is this online blog “UNO, You Know ?!”.We give students with an interest in writing the chance to get accredited to the negotiations and events held at the UN and publish their articles here.

We are now recruiting to complete our management team for the blog. If you are a student, interested in international relations and in GIMUN, with very good skills in both english and french, here is your chance to contribute to our bilingual online journal. You will have the opportunity to manage a multicultural team, composed of journalists and translators from all over the world. You will then take responsibilities in our NGO. Read the rest of this entry »

Female entrepreneurship: laws are not enough

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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

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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

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©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 »

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?

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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 »

Calais : the story of a wild “jungle”

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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 »

Destination ‘Sustainable World 2030’: ready, set, go !

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10th  plenary meeting Closing of the High-level plenary meeting of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda
10th plenary meeting Closing of the High-level plenary meeting of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda

By Ineke De Bisschop

New York, 25th of September 2015: the leaders of all 193 member states of the United Nations sign the agenda ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development‘. This new development agenda and the successor of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and inequality by 2030. Central pillars of the Agenda are the 5 P’s: people (living in dignity), planet (protecting the planet), prosperity (opportunities for personal development), peace (freedom from fear and violence) and partnership (a renewed global solidarity to leave no one behind). Read the rest of this entry »

Your cameras can free Palestine

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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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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 »

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 »

Berta Cáceres : Activist to the last

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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 »

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 »

Is the world turning back to authoritarianism ?

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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 »

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.

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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 »