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Good morning, this is Pip, and today we’ve got the latest update on Libya’s political talks, as delegates from the country’s rival factions meet for a vote that aims to bring an end to a decade of turmoil.

We’re also hearing why the disarmament world is so prone to deadlock, and looking into how local communities are paving the way to peace in Mali, with the help of a Geneva-based organisation.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


Today’s reason for hope

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Acting UN envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams. (Credit: UN / Violaine Martin)

Delegates from Libya’s rival factions met in Geneva on Monday to select the leaders of a new transitional government who will oversee preparations for an election at the end of the year, and bring an end to the country’s political divisions. However, there are concerns over whether the winners of the UN-facilitated process will be accepted by rival regimes.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Peace and humanitarian news

🔒 Deadlock in the disarmament world. The annual Conference on Disarmament (CD) got off to a tense start last month when member states Iran and Turkey blocked rivals Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Cyprus from taking part in the forum. We look into why deadlock is so common in the disarmament world.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

🇸🇾 Syria talks a “disappointment”. The UN special envoy for Syria said the latest round of talks to revise the country’s constitution last week failed to make any progress, and that committee members need to “work better together” if they hope to help heal the country.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

☮ Communities forging peace in Mali. Three new peace agreements have been signed between warring communities in central Mali, mediated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. We hear how locally-led, representative processes are paving the way for stability in the country.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Number of the day

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Riot police detained thousands who took part in demonstrations across Russia on Sunday calling for the release of Putin’s most prominent critic Alexei Navalny. He was detained on his return from Germany last month, where he had been recovering from an assassination attempt using the nerve agent Novichok.


Here’s what else is happening

Image of the day

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Credit: Keystone / EPA / Rungroj Yongrit

Demonstrators protest outside Myanmar’s embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday. Myanmar’s military has taken power and declared a state of emergency, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party. The coup brought swift condemnation from the international community, with the UN secretary general calling it “a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar”.

Al Jazeera (EN)

Next on the agenda

4 February | Behind the Headlines: Crises to Watch in 2021. Experts in the humanitarian field will discuss what are the crises to watch this year.

The New Humanitarian (EN)

9 February | Welcoming the incoming president of the UN Human Rights Council. This online event will bring together Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji and former president Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger.

International Service for Human Rights (EN)

10 February | The Western Balkans: local priorities, fractured regional perspectives. Experts meet to unpack issues of nation-building, old and new constructions of national identity and ongoing border disputes in non-EU states in the West Balkans.


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