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Good morning, this is Paula. As much of global media attention was focused last week on the upsurge in violence in the Middle East, two major earthquakes and their aftershocks were a sad reminder of the impact of the news cycle on aid response.

Meanwhile, international authorities and experts join in calling attention to a key safeguard they hope will not be forgotten amid the fighting: the Geneva Conventions. And in an exercise of introspection, we ask what image do we, as journalists, project of international Geneva?

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

Photo article

Afghans receive aid while a sandstorm rages at the Chahak village, following an earthquake, in Zenda Jan district in Herat province, western Afghanistan, 12 October 2023. (Keystone/Associated Press/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Overshadowed Afghanistan struggles for attention in quake aftermath. Barely two years have passed since the Taliban takeover of Kabul. But after the surge of violence in other parts of the world, from Ukraine to Sudan and now in Israel and Gaza, Afghanistan’s latest disasters failed to pull the country’s humanitarian crisis out of obscurity. We hear about what the shift of attention to other crises means on aid response in the country.

Geneva Solutions

As Israel-Gaza war intensifies, what do the rules of combat say? As Israeli bombs pummel Gaza in retaliation to the massacre of festival-goers and town residents by the Palestinian armed group Hamas, calls to respect international humanitarian law are on many lips. Marco Sassòli, professor of international law at the University of Geneva, helps us understand the ongoing conflict through a humanitarian law lens.

Geneva Solutions

What to watch this week

🗳️Election day. The 173 state parties to the Convention on Torture will cast their votes on Thursday to renew five out of 10 members of the expert committee tasked with overseeing its implementation.

We reported over the summer on a glaring absence of women on the ballot. Since then, one more female contender has joined the race, Marica Pirošíková from Slovakia – as well as six more male candidates. That leaves the tally at three women versus 14 men.

✈️Travel log. Keeping with the theme, UN human rights expert on torture Alice Jill Edwards will travel to Chile this week as its government’s commitments to reform the police and right historical wrongs face political headwinds.

🤓Exam week. The Human Rights Committee will continue with evaluations of country situations. After Iran and Venezuela last week, it’s Kuwait’s turn today, followed by the US, Trinidad and Tobago and South Korea. Dozens of US NGOs will be roaming around Geneva to attend the first exam of their country by the committee in nine years.

In case you missed it

Gesda to open quantum institute in Geneva by March 2024. After AI, quantum computers are the new promise to rescue the failing Sustainable Develpment Goals (SDGs). The Gesda Foundation announced on Friday at its annual summit that its flagship Open Quantum Institute will open next march in Geneva, in partnership with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) and UBS.

Geneva Solutions

Also on the agenda

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