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Good morning, this is Kasmira, and today we’re covering WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's second term nomination, how humanitarian organisations are facing up to the changing face of war, and critique of UN-led mediation between the Assad regime and the opposition, the so-called Geneva process, as zombie diplomacy.

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Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO executive board meeting on Tuesday after his nomination for a second term was confirmed. (Credit: WHO)

⚕️ Tedros triumphant as US lays down conditions for WHO sustainable financing. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received overwhelming support on Tuesday for his nomination to lead the World Health Organization (WHO) for a second term after a vote by the health body’s 34-member executive board. As the only nominee, Tedros is guaranteed to be re-elected at the next World Health Assembly in May. Despite criticism that the WHO was slow to react at the beginning of the Covid outbreak, Tedros has won praise for his efforts pushing vaccine equity, for steering the organisation through several Ebola outbreaks, and surviving fierce criticism from the US under Trump. He remains a popular and reassuring figure to lead the organisation in uncertain times as the pandemic enters its third year.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Science and diplomacy reads by GESDA

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(Credit: SamFalconer/Nature)

⛲ Three billion dollars for a fountain of youth. That’s the promise of a biotech unicorn which just launched in California, dedicated to rejuvenation and longevity sciences. Altos Labs – that is its name – has recruited to its team and its board some of the most brilliant minds in the field, and it is backed by billionaires. “There are rumors that Jeff Bezos is one of its investors – for the prolongation of life is a field that seems particularly attractive to the man (and it usually is a man) who otherwise has everything”, writes The Economist in a complete article.

Another exhaustive survey was published this week in Nature (see below), which shows how hot this topic now is. And in Switzerland, a newly non-profit organisation established in Zug, the Longevity Science Foundation has started its activities, the mission of which is to “help make longevity-focused care accessible to everyone, no matter their background, by bringing cutting-edge science on aging out of the laboratory and into the mainstream”, as it describes itself. How will that be fostered? By giving the donors (to the foundation) possibilities to first vote on their favourite research project, then get rewards like “consultations with longevity specialists and early access to treatments”. These possibilities will, however, be more or less important depending on the amount of money given.

But having more people live longer on Earth also means that our planet will get crowded more quickly. With impacts on environment, resources, our living space, education and economy, to name a few. “There are many ways in which our biographies are in a mismatch with our social organisation, and this would be increased by a prolongation of life expectancy, recalled Samia Hurst, ethicist at the University of Geneva, at the recent Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation Summit. “So maybe we need to have language based on rules and functions other than actual age. Maybe we need to have language based on health status, and maybe biomarkers will one day be the way in which we make these distinctions. And there are many ways in which we can think about that. One of the exciting things in longevity sciences, is that it leads us to ask questions that we should have been asking anyway. But this throws them in a light that makes them more urgent.”

And, when this field of research benefits from the needed regulatory support – as this BioSpectrum Asia article nicely explains – our societies ought to make sure that these questions are answered by and for all – in other words that discussions include those who can invest in rejuvenation science enterprises as well as those who do not have the same means.

- Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA

Ageing: the mysteries of longevity.

Nature (EN)

Gaming giant Unity wants to clone the world, use its technology to help clients make virtual copies of real-life objects, environments, and even people.


There are two kinds of Metaverse. Only one will inherit the Earth.

BigThink (EN)

The Great Acceleration: what we need to do to tackle climate change.


First fully programmable quantum computer based on neutral atoms.

New Scientist (EN)

Policy and technology for the greater good: imagining futures.


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This selection is proposed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator GESDA, working on anticipating cutting-edge science and technological advances to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.

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