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Good morning, this is Michelle. Last week’s international women’s day was celebrated with some unease as the messages and headlines made it clear that women’s rights were regressing in many parts of the world.

We spoke to two activists who are up against some of the most complex situations worldwide about their firm belief in the power of resistance.

In gatherings to keep an eye on, governments and experts will meet privately in Interlaken starting today to finalise a crucial report that will feed into climate change talks in Dubai later this year. And ILO members will discuss a proposal for a coalition for social justice.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


On our radar

Photo article

Azin Mohajerin and Hina Jilal at OMCT’s offices on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023. (Geneva Solutions/Michelle Langrand)

‘One step forward is more important than two steps back’. Despite widespread arrests, allegations of torture and the execution of four protesters in Iran, the women-led movement refuses to back down. For Iranian activist Azin Mohajerin, it means that change is a little more within grasp. Hina Jilani, an advocate of Pakistan’s Supreme Court and president of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), who fought against sharia laws in Pakistan back in the 80s, views it as another illustration of women’s resistance on the path to obtaining change.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What to watch this week

  • 🌍The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) will meet behind closed doors from 13 to 17 March in Interlaken, Switzerland, to approve line by line its final report from its latest cycle, which began in 2015. The document, to be released on 20 March, should compile the experts’ main findings from previous reports, which had warned that humans were to blame for unprecedented changes to the Earth’s climate system, which in turn were fueling humanitarian crises worldwide.
    IPCC (EN)
  • 🤖The World Summit on the Information Society ’s annual forum will be held on 13 March at the International Conference Centre in Geneva. The gathering, hosted by the International Telecommunication Union, will highlight the impact of new technologies on people’s lives.
    ITU (EN)
  • ✊The ILO’s Governing Body meets from 13 to 23 March to discuss director general Gilbert Houngbo’s proposal for a Global Coalition for Social Justice to tackle social and economic issues responsible for triggering rising inequalities. During its second week, the body will debate action being taken to uphold workers’ rights in Venezuela following reports of violations.
    ILO (EN)

Also on the agenda

📌 16 March | The Iran nuclear file: reflections on 20 years of negotiations. Five years after the United States left the Iran nuclear agreement and renewed efforts to revive the pact, European Union ambassador Stephan Klement talks about lessons learned over two decades of involvement in the negotiations.

Graduate Institute (EN)

📌 16-26 March | Open Innovation Festival. For ten days, international organisations, public and private sector groups, the University of Geneva and RTS will host public discussions, hackathons and workshops on issues including migration, public surveillance, journalism and urban planning.

Various venues in Geneva (EN)

For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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