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Hello, I’m Ben bringing you Geneva Solutions’ Peace and Humanitarian news coverage, produced this week in collaboration with The New Humanitarian.

Today, we’re covering major movements at the United Nations, as President Biden announces the US will rejoin the Human Rights Council while seeking to reform the “flawed body”. Over in New York, the top humanitarian official Mark Lowcock has announced he’s stepping down. We look at his time in office and who might replace him.

We’re also talking to experts about the crises to watch in 2021 and why the “F-word”, famine, has been on the tongues of leading humanitarians.

photo journaliste

Ben Parker


Today’s reason for hope

Photo article

The US will rejoin the council as an observer while seeking reforms of the body. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

President Biden to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council while seeking reform. Three years after former president Donald Trump withdrew from the body over allegations of anti-Israel bias and a need for reform, President Biden has announced he intends to rejoin the Human Rights Council as an observer. However, the new president is making reforming the “flawed body” a top priority.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Peace and humanitarian news

🇺🇳 UN humanitarian chief to step down. Mark Lowcock is heading home to the UK soon. What is his legacy at the UN’s humanitarian coordinating body and what should we look out for in a successor?

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🔮 What tomorrow holds. Humanitarian journalists, analysts and aid workers share hopes and fears for 2021, and the trends they’ll be keeping on their radar - from vaccine nationalism to violence against women.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🌽 Hunger deaths aren’t simply about famine or no famine. Humanitarian food security experts have developed strict definitions for what constitutes a “famine” – but has their insistence on hard-to-get data had unintended consequences?

The New Humanitarian (EN)

In case you missed it…

🇱🇾 Libya forum elects new transitional government. A UN-led forum of delegates from Libya’s rival factions has elected a new interim government to oversee preparations for elections next year in a bid to bring an end to decades of turmoil in the country.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

Protestors in Port-au-Prince demanded the resignation of Haiti’s president on Sunday. (EPA / Jean Marc Herve Abelard)

‘Coup attempt’ in Haiti. While the eyes of the world are fixed on Myanmar, there have been allegations of another potential ‘coup’ in Haiti, where President Jovenel Moïse says an attempt to kill him and overthrow the government has been foiled. The news comes amid a dispute over when his term in office ends, with opponents saying it finished on Sunday while the president insists he isn’t due to depart until February 2022. At least 23 people were arrested during clashes with police when protestors took to the streets following his refusal to step down.


Next on the agenda

11 February | Martin Ennals Award 2021. The Geneva-based foundation will on Thursday announce the laureate of this year’s award, which recognises individuals and organisations that have defended human rights.

Martin Ennals Award (EN)

15 February | A decade of displacement in the Middle East and North Africa. Experts discuss the findings of the latest IDMC report and share insights on lasting solutions for the region, which has seen the number of displaced people soar.


16 February | Protecting displaced and stateless persons: the role of NHRIs and UNHCR. Organised by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), this event will look at building collaboration between its members and the UN refugee agency.


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