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Good morning, this is Paula. Two years after the UN secretary general presented a new plan to address global risks, with an eye towards convening a Summit of the Future, many countries are still uncertain of what that will look like, while others think it may be too much, too soon.

In Geneva, the International Labour Organization’s annual conference kicks off today amid criticism over the choice to nominate Qatar to preside over the session.

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Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

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The United Nations headquarters amid the skyline of New York City during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, 20 September 2021. (Keystone/AFP/Ed Jones)

The uncertain prospects of the UN’s future summit. The uncertain prospects of the UN’s future summit. With less than a year and a half to plan for it, the Summit of the Future was still far from rolling off the tongues of Geneva diplomats. Equally unclear to many in UN headquarters on both sides of the Atlantic is what the agenda ahead of the conference, scheduled for September 2024 will be, following a proposal by secretary general António Guterres on how to address global threats.

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What to watch this week

👷🏽Rocky start for labour conference. The International Labour Organization’s annual gathering is already stirring controversy before it has even started. News got out that Qatar’s labour minister has been tapped to preside over the meeting, drawing outcry from workers’ groups. The UN agency was already under fire for casting a favourable light on the Gulf state during the World Cup last year, despite reports of alarming working conditions.

Delegates, which include ministers, employers' associations and workers’ unions, are due to approve Qatar’s nomination by consensus on Monday. With that out of the way, they will turn to discuss issues including a just transition to a green economy, digitalisation and apprenticeships.

Also on the agenda

  • 📌 6 June | Neurotechnology and human rights. The recent news of a paralysed man walking again thanks to a chip in his brain and the spinal cord is the latest example of how technology is rapidly developing with huge potential for good. But fiddling with such a sensitive part of the human being also raises questions, from data ownership to access to technology to freedom of thought.
    Geneva Academy (EN)
  • 📌 6 to 8 June | Future of Work Summit. On the fringes of the ILO’s conference, a series of talks will be held to discuss the issues on the agenda through a social justice lens, from telework for refugees to the role of trade in helping ease the tech and green transition for workers.
    Graduate Institute (EN)
  • For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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