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Good morning, this is Kasmira and today we’re catching up with the ILO’s new chief Gilbert Houngbo and taking a look at his busy in-tray amid mounting challenges for the global jobs market.

Meanwhile GESDA, Geneva’s science and diplomacy foundation, is back this week with its annual summit that aims to shed light on the next big scientific trends, and Angela Merkel will receive a prize in Geneva today for opening Germany's border to Syrian refugees in 2015 when other European countries did not.

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Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

Photo article

Gilbert Houngbo, the first African director general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). (Credit: ILO)

⚖️ New ILO chief puts social justice at top of to-do list. Gilbert Houngbo, the first African director general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), began his five-year term on 1 October in a world shaken by overlapping crises, a soaring cost of living, and yawning inequalities made worse by the pandemic. He spoke with Geneva Solutions during his first week in office.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🔬 Science and diplomacy anticipation summit back with ambitious programme. The Swiss-backed Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (Gesda) returns with its second key annual conference from 12 to 14 October, looking far ahead into the challenges of the 21st century. Ideas that a few years ago could only exist in a sci-fi novel such as organoids, mosquito genetic modification or solar modification are becoming a reality and diplomats need to be prepared to deal with them, according to the organisers. Academics, business leaders, NGOs and diplomats will discuss their sometimes diametrically opposed views on these issues. Gesda has also concocted solution prototypes for the challenges that fast-developing fields such as neurotech, decarbonisation and quantum computing will soon pose. But are they any good? We’ll be attending the event and letting you know.


In case you missed it

Photo article

Ales Bialiatski laying flowers at a memorial to Aliaksandr Taraikouski, a protester who was killed during a demonstration on August 10, 2020. Credit: HRC Viasna

🕊️ Ales Bialiatski wins Nobel Peace Prize. The human rights advocate, who is currently locked up in Belarus on charges of tax evasion said to be politically motivated, was announced on Friday as one of the three winners of the award, alongside the Ukrainian organisation Centre for Civil Liberties and the Russian NGO Memorial. Last year Geneva Solutions interviewed the Right Livelihood Award laureate recognised for his work to defend democracy, a few months before his arrest. Read our story from back then.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Also on the agenda

📌 11 October | Concert for peace “Heritage”. Looking for some musical respite that still resonates with your humanitarian soul? Dominican violinist Aisha Syed Castro will perform at the Victoria Hall as part of her ongoing Heritage World Tour, which has taken her to the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe. The concert is co-organised by the City de Geneve and the permanent mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN in Geneva.

Ville de Genève (EN)

📌 13 October | Geneva Cybersecurity Forum. On the battlefields of the 21st century, cyberattacks are changing the way war is waged as has been evidenced in the war in Ukraine. Two panels, held at the Geneva Press Club’s space at the Domaine de Penthes, will explore the responsibilities and means to curb rampant cyber crime and the importance of the cyber weapons in 21st century conflicts.

Geneva Press Club (EN)

For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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