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Good morning, this is Paula. Just a month ahead of the Cop28 summit, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and climate change expresses his concern over oil exporters hosting the events and stresses that climate migrants need protection.

This week, Geneva will be buzzing with action, with countries meeting to discuss progress on the Minamata Convention on mercury, while there will be an array of timely talks at the annual Geneva peace week.

And an expert in humanitarian law says that the Geneva Conventions and its defenders should not become collateral in the latest upsurge in conflict in the Middle East.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

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Protest sign inside Cop27 venue in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 18 November 2022. (Geneva Solutions/Paula Dupraz-Dobias)

Climate rights expert slams corporations and states on human rights duties. A month ahead of the Cop28 summit in Dubai, the United Nations’ rapporteur on climate change amplifies calls by scientists and global leaders, saying states and corporations need to protect people from the environmental crisis. Ian Fry, whose role was established only two years ago, weighs in on a number of issues and tells us why bigger isn’t better when it comes to climate talks and explains that existing legal frameworks do not provide enough protection to people displaced by climate change.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What to watch this week

🎂Happy tenth anniversary. In 2013, countries agreed that mercury was so harmful to people’s health that they would get rid of its use. Ten years later, the heavy metal is still used in artisanal gold mining and other activities.

This week, the 147 state parties to the Minamata Convention, will gather in Geneva for the first full round of national reporting and to discuss how to ramp up progress but also how the convention can help implement the biodiversity deal agreed upon last year and, more recently, a new framework on chemicals and waste.

👷Labour meet. The UN labour agency will hold its last executive meeting of the year over the next two weeks. Burning issues on the agenda include labour protection, harassment in the workplace and the director general’s proposal for a global coalition for social justice.

Ongoing investigations into cases of non-compliance with labour conventions in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Belarus, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela and in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will also be heard.

Also on the agenda

  • 📌 30 October - 3 November | 2023 Geneva Peace Week. Amid rising global tensions, voices have emerged to say peace needs a rethink. The annual event will gather experts and advocates from across the board to discuss what issues like water scarcity, weapons, AI and misinformation have to do with peace and how the UN, as it gears for a key summit next year to reinvent itself, should integrate them.

    The likes of UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi and former UN rights boss Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein as well as ambassadors from Switzerland, France and the Marshall Islands will be speaking at an array of discussions.
    Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (EN)
  • 📌 31 October | Mercury in cosmetics – more than what meets the eye. Using cosmetics to reduce freckles and blemishes, and in century-old practices for lightening skin tones may be more hazardous than thought.
    Unep (EN)
  • For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

Opinion of the day

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✌️Humanitarian law and its defenders shouldn’t be collateral victims. Since the renewed hostilities in Gaza, emotions have overtaken public debate, distracting from the urgent need to avert a major humanitarian crisis and an escalation of violence. In this context, it is essential to ensure that humanitarian law and its defenders are not the collateral victims of rising tensions, writes humanitarian law expert Cyprien Fluzin.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

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