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Good morning, this is Paula. The recent disasters in North Africa highlighted how big aid operations may not always be at the top of governments’ aid wish list. We spoke to humanitarians involved with communities on the frontlines of existing and future disasters.

In Geneva, the Human Rights Council will hear about findings on rights abuses taking place in the war in Ukraine, and the disappearance of migrants on dangerous routes will be recognised by a human rights committee.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


On our radar

Photo article

Three men try to salvage what they can from their damaged convenience store in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake in Talat Yaqoob, south of Marrakesh, Morocco, 15 September 2023. (Keystone/EPA/Jérôme Favre)

When disaster strikes, how should aid groups respond? The recent devastating disasters in Morocco and Libya were a reminder to aid agencies that emergency response plans can never be taken for granted. While some local groups spring into action to respond to events, aid experts explain how larger organisations as well as affected communities adapt to new and sometimes unexpected crises. We speak with aid actors in Morocco and Colombia and see what the shift from big operations to going local may look like.

Geneva Solutions

What to watch this week

🕵️‍♀️Human Rights Council week three. The Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine will update the Human Rights Council today on its findings after its latest visit to the country earlier this month. After that, states will discuss rights abuses in Venezuela with the fact-finding mission investigating the South American country.

On Friday, states will hear from a report exposing the lengths to which countries will go to dissuade activists from criticising them in front of the UN. A case in France will take the spotlight, but we’ll bring you more on that later.

🫥Missing migrants. The Committee on Enforced Disappearances, on Thursday, will issue a general comment on migrants increasingly at risk of going missing as border policies are toughened and migration routes become more perilous. The aim is to clarify states’ obligations to investigate and address a trend that is often at the bottom of political agendas.

✈️Travel log. A group of UN human rights experts will visit Mauritania for the first time to assess gender parity and policies to tackle discrimination against women and girls.

👩‍👦For friends and family. The UN will open the Palais Wilson to the public on Saturday for a human rights-themed day as part of its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

🚢Report tracker. The UN trade and development agency will publish its annual review on sea transport on Wednesday from the International Maritime Organization’s headquarters in London. The report, which has been running uninterrupted since 1968, will lay out the challenges of decarbonising a sector that makes up 80 per cent of global trade and accounts for roughly three per cent of global emissions.

Also on the agenda

📌 25 September | Press Emblem Campaign Prize ceremony. Burkinabé journalist Arnaud Ouedraogo, coordinator of the investigative reporting unit in West Africa CENOZO, will receive this year’s award for the protection of journalists at an event.

Geneva Press Club (FR)

📌 28 September | SDG Summit Debrief. If your head is still buzzing from last week’s packed UN agenda in New York, and you missed the much-touted discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals, this event is for you.


For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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