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Hello, this is Pip, and today we’re covering the latest session of the Human Rights Council which kicked off yesterday with a tense debate on Myanmar, amid growing international pressure against the country’s military junta.

We’re also covering the situation in Tigray as Ethiopians head to the polls against a backdrop of war and looming famine. And just in case you missed it, we’ve got a recap of the historic Biden-Putin summit which took place in Geneva last week.

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Pip Cook


Peace and Humanitarian News

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Demonstrators flash a three-finger salute during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay, Myanmar. (EPA/Stringer)

❗ Myanmar debate dominates Human Rights Council opening session. The UN’s top human rights body kicked off its latest session on Monday with a tense debate over Myanmar’s position at the council. Myanmar hasn’t been represented at the body in Geneva since the military junta took power following a coup on 1 February, and member states were split on whether scheduled debates on the country should go ahead or be postponed. This came days after the UN general assembly passed a rare resolution condemning the coup and calling for an arms embargo on the country – another example of the growing pressure from the international community.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

In case you missed it

🤝 Biden and Putin praise ‘constructive’ summit but disputes remain. US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Geneva last week for a historic summit at the Villa La Grange in Eaux-Vives. The two leaders praised the talks as “positive” and “constructive” and seemed to make progress towards repairing frayed diplomatic relations between their countries. But the pair failed to find common ground on a number of divisive issues.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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Ethiopians queue to cast their votes in the general election. Ongoing war and logistical issues meant ballots wouldn’t be cast in more than 100 of the 547 constituencies in the country. (AP Photo / Mulugeta Ayene)

Ethiopians head to the polls against backdrop of war and famine. Ethiopians cast their ballots in delayed elections on Monday against a backdrop of ongoing conflict, the looming prospect of famine and rising ethnic violence in the northern Tigray region. Supporters of prime minister Abiy Ahmed said the elections were proof of his commitment to democracy while critics warned they could consolidate an increasingly authoritarian rule. Calls are growing for an immediate end to the conflict in Tigray, where harrowing reports of sexual violence against women and girls have prompted outrage among NGOs and campaigners.

The Guardian (EN)

Number of the day

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Refugees from Afghanistan protest outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office on World Refugee Day in New Delhi, India. (Credit: Keystone / EPA/ Rajat Gupta)

Forced displacement at record level despite Covid shutdowns. Despite Covid-related restrictions on movement and pleas from the international community for a global ceasefire, the number of people fleeing war, violence and persecution rose to a record high last year. More than one per cent of the global population – 1 in 95 people – is now forcibly displaced, compared with 1 in 159 in 2010.


Next on the agenda

📍 25 June | International development: What does it take to measure success? Are impact evaluations the right way to go for organisations to know whether they’ve made a difference? Panellists from organisations including the WHO and Geneva Call discuss impact measurement and different perspectives for international development actors.


📍 28 June - 3 July | World Summit on frontline humanitarian negotiation. Organised by the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), the six-day interactive event live-streamed from Caux will bring together frontline negotiators and humanitarian policymakers and other representatives tackling present-day issues related to humanitarian negotiation.


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