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Good morning, this is Kasmira. It’s the height of summer and there’s scorching temperatures to prove it, with the WMO warning of the effects on air quality as the heatwave continues this week.

Turning to our main story today, we take a look at who may be in line to replace Michelle Bachelet as UN human rights commissioner, with only weeks left before she steps down.

And there’s commotion at the UN Committee Against Torture after Nicaragua refused to participate in a meeting in Geneva. Next countries in the spotlight this week: State of Palestine and Botswana.

photo journaliste

Kasmira Jefford


On our radar

Photo article

Secretary general Antonio Guterres, UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet and two of her predecessors, Mary Robinson and Louise Arbour, gather at the Global Compact for Migration in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2018. (Credit: Global Compact for Migration)

Who’s next? The race to replace Michelle Bachelet as UN high commissioner for human rights is on as the end of her term approaches. While rights groups call for a “human rights champion”, observers say UN secretary general Antonio Guterres is likely to choose another hardcore diplomat. In any case, the details of the nomination will be kept under wraps until the last moment – although rumours from New York have already started to reach Geneva’s ears…

Geneva Solutions (EN)

No let-up in European heatwave. Keep your sunhats and water bottles at the ready. Temperatures will continue to skyrocket across Europe this week, increasing the risk of more wildfires, droughts, and triggering new health warnings, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on Friday. Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Lorenzo Labrador, a WMO scientific officer, said a high pressure system “currently sitting right on top of the British Isles” would move east and result in high temperatures across much of central Europe and the Balkans.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Nicaragua a no-show at Committee Against Torture; Palestine and Botswana up next. Relations have soured between Nicaragua and the UN’s committee on torture. The Nicaraguan government refused to send delegates to Geneva last week to discuss the findings of the committee’s report that includes widespread allegations of torture, sending a letter instead accusing the UN committee of “vile attacks on the State”. Claude Heller, chair of the committee responded calling Nicaragua’s remarks “unacceptable” and said it had systematically violated human rights and the convention against torture. He said the committee will make final observations on Nicaragua before the end of its session this month. This week, it will consider reports on Palestine and Botswana.

UN Geneva (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Also on the agenda

📌 18 July | Third annual Nelson Mandela human rights lecture. This year’s lecture, marking Nelson Mandela International Day, will address the topic of climate justice with speakers including the UN special rapporteur on human rights and climate change, and climate activist, Vanessa Nakate. The event is taking place at the Campus Biotech but will also be broadcast online. It’s part of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition that gathers students from around the world at the Palais des Nations each year.

Geneva Academy (EN)

📌 20 July | UNIGE: Use of space technologies: what opportunities for the 2030 Agenda and global health? Monitoring climate change, allowing humanitarian aid to be deployed during a natural disaster or even fighting epidemics… So many possible opportunities thanks to the use of space technologies. This talk at Uni Bastions aims to raise public awareness of the use of space technologies to implement the good health and well-being goal of the 2030 Agenda.


For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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