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Good morning, this is Michelle and this week’s packed agenda will likely be sucked in by the war in Ukraine, as the crisis spills onto other diplomatic gatherings.

Starting Monday, the Human Rights Council will hear from dozens of foreign ministers who are likely to condemn Russia’s actions, but will first vote on whether to hold an urgent debate on Ukraine. At noon, the IPCC will release its key report on climate adaptation – a question of life and death. The document comes after two weeks of tough bargaining between governments and scientists that ended up in moving statements both from the Ukrainian and Russian delegation.

Negotiations for a global plastics treaty kicking off this week won’t be spared either from the ongoing turmoil, with Ukraine already signalling it will not play ball with Russia at the environment summit.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


On our radar this week

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Tourists try to stay dry in a flooded St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy. (Credit: Jonathan Ford/Unsplash)

💀Adapt or disappear, the true climate dilemma. Scientists will sound the alarm today at noon on the worsening impacts of climate change. After releasing its report on how the climate is changing last August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will spell out how this is affecting societies and ecosystems and what can be done to cope with those impacts. Sarah Sermondadaz, scientific journalist for the Swiss media Heidi.news, explains why it is a question of survival.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🇺🇳 Human rights talks underpinned by Ukraine war. Foreign ministers and heads of organisations are due to address the UN Human Rights Council in person and online on Monday, but the war in Ukraine is already upsetting the meeting’s agenda. UN chief Antonio Guterres, will no longer be travelling to Geneva, and neither will foreign ministers of France, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Council could also hold an urgent debate on Ukraine at the end of the week, where rights groups hope that the human rights body will punish Russia for its acts as far as stripping it from its HRC membership.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🍃 Plastics talks overshadowed by politics. The UN Environment Assembly held in Nairobi from Monday to Wednesday will gather environment ministers to discuss several proposals, including a global agreement on plastic pollution, as we previously reported on. Negotiators have been cooped up in meeting rooms for the past week up until 3am, to try and iron out as many thorny issues as possible. Tensions at the summit are already running high as Ukraine objected on Friday against an otherwise standard proposal led by Russia and was backed by other Western powers. This could complicate the environment talks, although diplomatic sources told Geneva Solutions that the one that has been trying to torpedo efforts for a tough plastics treaty is actually India, who has been pushing for a softer non-binding agreement.

Reuters (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

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Geneva residents show solidarity against the war in Ukraine. Around thousand people demonstrated in Geneva's Place des Nations on Sunday against Russia's military intervention, with the colours of the Ukrainian flag waved under an icy breeze. Many participants were Ukrainians from French-speaking Switzerland, who fear for the fate of their families living in Kiev or elsewhere in the country.

Tribune de Genève (Paywall) (FR)

In case you missed it

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💰Russia slapped with an increasing number of sanctions, with the US and its allies on Saturday moving to block certain Russian banks from the Swift global payments system. Thomas Biersteker, professor the Graduate Institute, Geneva, explains the implications and why measures need to be deepened, and not just broadened, to be more effective.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Also on the agenda

📌 28 February | Friday is the New Saturday. Drawing on an eclectic range of economic theory, history and data, economist Pedro Gomes argues in this provocative seminar that a four-day working week will bring about a powerful economic renewal for the benefit of all society.


📌 4-13 march | 20th International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights. After two years of virtual editions, the human right film festival is making a comeback to cinemas and other venues across Geneva, with a programme tackling issues from abortion, peace, ecocide and Ukraine.


For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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