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Good morning, this is Kasmira. After Switzerland launched the Open Quantum Institute to much fanfare at the Gesda summit earlier this month, we explore whether an initiative based on collaboration can overcome protectionist tendencies in an era of intense global competition.

And as conflict escalates in the Middle East, thirty years after the first signing of the Oslo accords, three experts reflect on what failed and where to go from here.

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Kasmira Jefford


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Interiors at Cern's newly opened Science Gateway (Geneva Solutions/Maurizio Arseni)

🖥️ Can Geneva herald the way for a quantum revolution? Cern and Gesda’s plans to open in Geneva a quantum institute accessible to everyone seem to be taking shape. While the initiative holds promise, the idealism behind it may face challenges in an era of intense global competition.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Opinions of the day

🕊️ This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Oslo accords, a peace process launched in 1993 that set the first stepping stones to negotiate an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. It also marked 20 years since the Geneva initiative was signed in 2003 by two former Israeli and Palestinian ministers to unlock years of stalemate and revive the prospect of a two-state solution. Both historic developments failed to live up to their promises.

Since the attack by Hamas on 7 October on Israeli soil and Israel’s subsequent retaliation on Gaza, peace seems farther from grasp than ever before.

Our colleagues at Heidi.news had initially organised a debate to be held on 18 October at the Maison de la Paix, in partnership with the Geneva Graduate Institute, to take stock of three decades of peace efforts, identify avenues for lasting peace and assess the role of Switzerland and other external actors. The event has been postponed to 2024 in light of the events.

In the meantime, three of the panellists, Yossi Beilin, former Israeli minister and negotiator of the Oslo accords and the Geneva initiative; Hiba Husseini, a lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiators on several occasions; and Riccardo Bocco, professor emeritus at the Graduate Institute and expert on the Middle East, provide their take on the situation by answering three questions.

Here's what else is happening

With our partners

📌 13 November, 12:30- 13:30 | The new diplomat: from post-colonial training to tech ambassador. Post-colonial training for African diplomats in the 1960-70s, delivered by external global north providers, represented an important site for the (re-)enactment and embodiment of Western, liberal norms in diplomatic practice. More recently, diplomacy and warfare have extended to the digital realm, leading large tech companies from Silicon Valley to play a prominent role in the geopolitical power play. The establishment of tech and cyber ambassador-at-large positions in various countries reflects their influence.

Through a unique historical dialogue, this event will explore how the role of the diplomat has evolved to adapt to new geopolitical and technological contexts? And how do hegemonic powers continue to influence diplomatic practice through training and digital tools?

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