Daily Brief logo

Hi, this is Michelle. As thousands of Armenians flee their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, journalists in Geneva are asking questions about what a very discreet UN is doing to help.

At the Human Rights Council, China is going out of its way to avoid scrutiny of its clampdown on Hong Kong activists. And the head of the Red Cross agency in charge of reuniting loved ones separated by war explains the importance of a mission that may, at times, feel impossible.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


Straight from the Palais

Photo article

A demonstrator holding a sign reading 'Long live Mali, Long live Russia, Down with France, Down with Minusma (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali), Out of Mali' takes part in a protest against the United Nations and former occupier France and in support of Russia during Independence Day celebrations in Bamako, Mali, 22 September 2022. (Keystone/EPA/Hadama Diakite)

Bringing you the latest from UN press briefings in Geneva.

🧸Caught in the crossfire. The insecurity crisis in Mali has deepened since the junta kicked out the UN’s peacekeeping operation, Minusma, over the summer, and children are bearing the brunt, according to the UN Children’s Fund. Dozens of youngsters have been killed in the last month during attacks. “Shrinking humanitarian access” and displacement are fuelling a hunger crisis, while around 1,500 schools have shut down over security concerns.

😶‍🌫️Not buying it. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a guide yesterday recommending countries to ban smoking and vaping in schools, as well as selling and advertising for tobacco and nicotine products near campuses.

The tobacco industry has been pushing onto the market a myriad of products claimed to be healthier alternatives to cigarettes to help adults quit smoking. But the World Health Organization is not buying it and wants countries to toughen protections for young people, a key target for the firms. Nine out of ten smokers start before the age of 18, according to WHO figures.

🚶🏽‍♀️Treading carefully. Over 13,000 of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians have crossed over to Armenia since Sunday amid fears of persecution after Azerbaijan regained control of the region. This has prompted questions about what the UN, which has a presence in both countries, is doing to help and why it isn’t communicating more about it.

Responding to reporters, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office said they were monitoring the situation albeit without eyes on the ground. The UN Refugee Agency said it was supporting refugees arriving in Armenia. Yerevan called last week on the UN to send a mission to the seized region to ensure residents’ safety. A UN spokesperson said the organisation stood “ready to support relief efforts if we’re given the space to do so, but reports by the US media Open Democracy show that Azerbaijan may not want it.

Here’s what else is happening

GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

Have a good day!

Avenue du Bouchet 2
1209 Genève