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Good morning, this is Michelle. After renewing one fourth of its membership, the Human Rights Council will resume its work in January with a new geopolitical configuration. One of the notable changes is Costa Rica taking Venezuela’s spot. We spoke to the Costa Rican ambassador about the country’s plans to infuse the UN rights body with its peace tradition.

This week, a debate on women and religion has piqued our interest against a backdrop where human rights and religion are increasingly colliding, with women in Iran risking their lives to stand up for their rights.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


On our radar

Photo article

Shara Duncan Villalobos, Costa Rican ambassador to the UN in Geneva, lays out priorities for its three-year as a member of the Human Rights Council. (Credit: Geneva Solutions/Michelle Langrand)

‘We want to be bridge-builders’. Costa Rica was among the 12 countries elected on 11 October to join the Human Rights Council from 2023 to 2025, beating Venezuela after a failed attempt to challenge Caracas in 2019. This will be the second time that the Central American country takes part in the UN rights body since its creation in 2006. Ambassador Shara Duncan Villalobos tells Geneva Solutions how it plans to push for its priorities amid heightened tensions between leading powers.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Also on the agenda

📌 24-25 October | Women and religious power. The Yves Oltramare annual symposium, held at the Graduate Institute, will explore in a series of lectures held over two days the theme of women and religion from different historical, theological and contemporary perspectives.

Graduate Institute (EN)

📌 24 October | Democracy in sub-Saharan Africa: trends, opportunities, challenges and threats. Experts from UN member states, academia and civil society will discuss how aspirations to democracy express themselves across sub-Saharan Africa and share best practices and challenges.

Kofi Annan Foundation (EN)

For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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