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Good morning, this is Kasmira and as the Human Rights Council opens its 51st session today, the geopolitical backdrop is as tense as it has ever been, with member states still undecided over how to deal with both Russia, and now China following the former UN right chief’s report on Xinjiang. The coming weeks will not only be a test for the Council but also for multilateralism.

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Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

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The Human Rights Council at its 50th session in June, 2022 (Credit: UN photo/Violaine Martin)

⚖️ Future of Human Rights Council in the balance as states grapple with Xinjiang report. Countries are gearing up for a tense four weeks in Geneva as the war in Ukraine is in its seventh month and the UN rights chief’s recent report on Xinjiang puts western countries in a tough spot. The UN Human Rights Council, held from 12 September to 7 October at Palais des Nations in Geneva, will kick off its 51st session on Monday, with a number of contentious issues opposing world powers to dominate the agenda.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

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A miniature model of the Palais des Nations was unveiled at the Swiss miniature open-air museum in Melide, on the shores of Lake Lugano. (Credit: Tatiana Valovaya/Twitter)

🇨🇭 Switzerland marks 20 years of UN membership. On 10 September 2002, Switzerland became the 190th member of the United Nations despite initial reluctance to join the organisation that it saw as incompatible with its neutrality. The decision was put to a nationwide vote that passed with a 55 per cent majority following a heated debate. Though only a narrow success, this was a significant advance on the previous referendum in 1986 when three-quarters of voters rejected the idea. Swiss president Ignazio Cassis and Tatiana Valovaya, the director general of the United Nations in Geneva, unveiled a miniature model of the Palais des Nations at a ceremony on Saturday 10 September in Ticino to mark the anniversary.

Swissinfo (EN)

Also on the agenda

📌 15 September | ‘No Democracy without associative expression(s)!’ Geneva state councillor Thierry Apothéloz and Christina Kitsos, administrative councillor of the City of Geneva, will speak on the theme “No Democracy without associative expression(s)!” at an event marking the UN International Day of Democracy.

Maison internationale des associations (EN)

📌 15-16 September | ‘Africa’s Urban Futures’ international conference. What happens to society, urban planning or government, when cities sprawl and change beyond recognition? The two-day conference, co-organised by the University of Geneva and the Swiss Society for African Studies, aims to tackle some of the issues and questions arising from the fast-changing nature of urban settings in Africa.


For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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