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Hello, this is Ben bringing you Geneva Solutions’ peace and humanitarian news coverage, produced this week in collaboration with The New Humanitarian.

Today, we’re speaking to a team of dedicated archivists working through 15 million documents that tell us how international relations succeed or fail. The vast digital archive is a unique project funded by a Geneva foundation.

We’re also hearing why UNHCR has been criticised for mismanaging its response to refugees fleeing the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, and looking back over 10 years of independence for South Sudan.

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Ben Parker


Peace and Humanitarian News

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Millions of historical documents are being scanned at the UN library in Geneva. (Photo: Ben Parker/The New Humanitarian)

🗺 Scanning the past. Some of the challenges of the 1920s and 30s uncannily echo the present, a unique archival project in Geneva reveals. Archivists are making a permanent digital copy of almost all the 15 million documents, letters, memos, photos and maps from the doomed predecessor of the United Nations. The online League of Nations archives will be a rich resource for understanding the past, dealing with the troubled present and shaping the future.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

❗Donors accuse UN of mismanaging Tigray refugee response. A group of Western embassies and donors have criticised the UN-led relief operation in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. In a letter to the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR obtained by The New Humanitarian, the group accused the organisation of a lack of leadership and said that tens of thousands of refugees who fled the conflict in the region are facing security risks and assistance shortfalls in camps in Sudan.

The New Humanitarian (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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Activists and aid workers form a human chain calling on the UN to maintain the cross-border humanitarian corridor at the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing, Idlib, Syria, July 2021.

Cross border aid to Syria extended. The UN Security Council agreed on Friday to extend a cross border humanitarian aid operation into Syria from Turkey, ensuring aid access to millions of Syrians for another next year. The council mandate for the operation at the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, which is the only crossing where aid can reach the rebel-held region of northwest Syria, was due to expire on Saturday, prompting concern that it would come to an abrupt end if members failed to agree to an extension. However, after weeks refusing to engage in discussions on a proposed renewal, Russia agreed a compromise in last-minute talks with the US.

Foreign Policy (EN)

Number of the day

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Image credit: People gather during independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, July 2011.(AP Photo / David Azia)

10 July marked a decade since the Republic of South Sudan became an independent state and the 193rd country to join the UN, having voted to break away from Sudan following two decades of brutal civil war. But the 10 years that have followed have also been dominated by civil war and human rights abuses, and the country is currently facing a humanitarian crisis. Many fear a full-blown conflict could break out once more.

Al Jazeera (EN)

Next on the agenda

📌13 July | Equitable access to justice for all children. This High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) side event will feature a discussion on what access to justice for children means, and what challenges it faces.


📌13 - 14 July | Girl Up leadership summit. Speakers at this year’s virtual Girl Up Summit include UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J Mohammed and Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Girl Up (EN)

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