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Good morning, this is Pip. Today, we’re looking ahead to what’s on the agenda at the Human Rights Council, which kicks off its latest session today at the Palais des Nations. We’re also keeping an eye on the UN’s international aid conference for Afghanistan, which hopes to raise urgent funds for humanitarian relief to support millions of Afghans.

Across the pond at the UN’s New York headquarters, preparations for the General Assembly opening this week are ramping up – we recap what we know so far. We’re also hearing about a new CERN initiative that wants to spark innovation in science and tech.

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Pip Cook


On our radar this week

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The Council will return to its usual home of room 20 in the Palais this week, however, the meeting will still be largely virtual due to the ongoing pandemic. (Credit: Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi)

🇺🇳What’s on the human rights agenda? Another session of the Human Rights Council will span from 13 September to 8 October – a week longer than usual. The council will be briefed on the situation in Afghanistan, following an emergency special session convened a fortnight ago. Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Yemen will also be discussed this week. Other topics, including water and sanitation, truth, justice and reparation, slavery, and the rights of women and girls during and after conflict, will also be on the agenda. We’ve got a rundown of what to expect.

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🇦🇫Afghanistan aid conference. The United Nations will hold an international aid conference in Geneva today to raise urgent funds for Afghanistan. In an announcement on Twitter, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said he would call for an emergency scale-up of funding to help avert a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” in the country. Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families well before Taliban militants seized power last month. Aid agencies warn millions now face starvation.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🎆Future intelligence at CERN. CERN’s Sparks Forum – a new initiative to bring together the brightest minds in science, tech, engineering and mathematics – will take place later this week. The theme of the two-day event is 'future intelligence', featuring discussions on the relationship between big data and artificial intelligence between CERN scientists and experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy.


In case you missed it

🇺🇳What to expect from this year’s UN General Assembly. The UNGA could make or break the future of in-person meetings at the UN headquarters in New York. With the Delta variant still looming large in the United States and elsewhere, many countries are waiting until the last minute to confirm whether they plan to travel to the UN for the session, which opens on Tuesday. Geneva Solutions and PassBlue took a look at what to expect and who has RSVP’d so far.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Also on the agenda

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📌Don’t miss Geneva Solutions’ debate on water security. Join us and our partners, the Geneva Press Club and the Geneva Water Hub, to discuss the role of water in times of conflict and water as a driver of peace in the Sahel region. More information and registration here.

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