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Good morning, this is Paula. A century after a group of international civil servants working at the League of Nations and International Labour Organization decided to start a “school for peace”, the International School of Geneva will host thousands of former students and teachers this week to celebrate its big anniversary.

Meanwhile, a luxury Swiss resort will host dozens of countries including key western leaders to an Ukraine Peace summit that will not include Kyiv’s main enemy, nor possibly also a key ally. And representatives from Geneva’s global shipping hub will discuss how to decarbonise the sector.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

Photo article

Entrance to Ecolint’s La Grande Boissière campus in Geneva, with original school sign, 5 June 2024. (Geneva Solutions/Paula Dupraz-Dobias)

One hundred years on, international school reverberates beyond Geneva. As the École Internationale de Genève prepares to welcome thousands of former students and teachers for its centenary, the school’s director general explains the role it has played within international Geneva and beyond.

Geneva Solutions

What to watch this week

🛎️UKRAINE’S PEACE VISION. Over 80 states are expected to attend the Swiss peace summit on Ukraine at the Bürgenstock. Among the confirmed star attendees are European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US vice president Kamala Harris – perhaps to the regret of Kyiv which expected Washington’s top boss.

No thanks. Others, such as China and Saudi Arabia, will be snubbing the gathering on account of Russia’s exclusion. Their absence will make it tricky for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who will also make an appearance, to rally support from the outliers for his plan to end the conflict – he already had to make concessions in the outcome document.

Not chill. All this may have pushed the leader to toughen the tone with Beijing. In a rare public rebuke, he accused China of lending its influence – and diplomats – to Moscow in its efforts to sabotage the summit.

🥳PARTY TIME. Six decades after the developing countries decided to establish a secretariat in Geneva for the UN Conference on Trade and Development – which the General Assembly had said would be a one-off meeting –, the recently rebranded body will be welcoming on Wednesday secretary general António Guterres and heads of state from a handful of African and Asian countries to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Now called UN Trade and Development, the body is often seen as an institutional antidote for the World Trade Organization, in defending development in poorer countries and helping them integrate into the global economy.

Place in the sun. However under its current secretary general Rebeca Grynspan, the organisation has played an active role in brokering the Black Sea Grain Initiative, to ensure continued trade of food and fertilisers following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It continues to provide essential data on shipping, commodities and trade.

🛠️WEEK TWO. The UN labour agency’s annual gathering continues this week amid polarisation. Arab states staged a walkout last week when an Israeli representative took the floor during a debate about workers’ rights in the occupied Arab territories. An ILO report found Palestinian workers’ rights had been “decimated”, while the Israeli military internally raised concerns that Tel Aviv’s financial chokehold on the Palestinian Authority, risked triggering a third intifada in the West Bank as public officers go without pay and Palestinians workers are barred from working in Israel.

Unrepresentative. The International Labour Conference will also proceed as Qatar comes under renewed civil society scrutiny. FairSquare, an advocacy group that has long monitored labour abuses in the emirate, wrote to ILO chief Gilbert Houngbo objecting the credentials of its workers delegate, a Qatari official at Qatar Energy, who it says does not represent the workforce. Over 80 per cent of the country’s workers are non-Qatari men employed in low-paid sectors, such as construction.

Also on the agenda

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