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Good morning, this is Paula. Diplomats will file into Geneva’s International Conference Centre this morning to decide who will run the UN’s migration agency in a much-anticipated vote.

Few days are left on the clock to save the Black Sea grain deal while discussions resume in Geneva on regulating killer robots.

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Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

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Security forces watch as migrants try to enter the United States after crossing the Rio Grande River, in Matamoros, Mexico on 11 May 2023 hours ahead of the expiry of Title 42, which allowed the US to block immigrants from coming in due to health risks. (Keystone/EPA/Abraham Pineda Jacome)

IOM elections: what the return of US leadership could mean. At 9 am, a secret ballot election among member states will kick off to determine who will prevail at the helm of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Last autumn, the agency’s American deputy general, Amy Pope, extraordinarily threw her hat into the ring to challenge her boss, the incumbent director general, António Vitorino from Portugal. The move came as a surprise as Vitorino had been widely expected to run unopposed for a second term. Meanwhile, some observers have expressed concern that, should Pope win, the IOM may move towards Washington’s tough migration approach.

Geneva Solutions

What to watch this week

🚢Time almost up. Ukraine and Russia only have three more days before the deal that has allowed safe passage for Ukraine’s grain exports through the Black Sea expires. While Russia has yet to agree on an extension, talks in Istanbul last week signalled some progress.

🤖Killer robots talks. A UN body tasked with proposing possible measures to regulate lethal autonomous weapons will meet again this week as the AI hype sparks fears of an arms race even further away from human control. After nearly a decade of stalemate at the expert group, advocates of international rules have been calling for discussions to be moved into other forums away from the gridlock.

The big interview

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Bruno Oberle, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at the Cop15 on biodiversity in Montreal in December 2022. (IISD-ENB/Mike Muzurakis)

Avoiding climate mistakes on biodiversity. The year 2022 concluded with states striking a historic agreement in Montreal at the Cop15 biodiversity summit, committing to protecting at least one-third of land and sea areas by 2030. But nature protection in Switzerland and everywhere else has lost out in attention to climate action. Bruno Oberle, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who has said he will step down at the end of the year, speaks about the imbalance between the two.

Geneva Solutions

Also on the agenda

From our partners

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🗓️1 June | Racisme, la Suisse en flagrant déni. “A country where 39 per cent of its population comes from migration cannot be racist”, “there is a problem in the US or in France, but not in Switzerland”, “yes, but Switzerland didn’t have colonies”, “Switzerland has a humanitarian tradition, it does not concern us”... Have you ever read or heard these statements? Following its investigation, Heidi.news is holding a round table on this issue, in partnership with GVA2.

After the debate, participants will have a chance to discuss with the author of the Exploration Racisme, la Suisse en Flagrant déni during a signing session of the printed magazine. The event will take place on at 7pm at the Auditorium Arditi (Avenue du Mail 1, 1204 Geneva).

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