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Hello, this is Pip with your news highlights from International Geneva for September, which has been a busy month as organisations return to work after the summer break.

The Human Rights Council kicked off its 48th regular session. Many in the humanitarian world were left disappointed when an urgent session on Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover in August failed to produce results. But the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country has featured in UN discussions throughout September, along with rights issues linked to AI, climate and toxic chemicals.

In the climate sphere, the long-awaited Food Systems Summit took place without the presence of many NGOs, who boycotted the meeting on the grounds that it would only satisfy big corporations’ hunger for profit.

Elsewhere, we’ve been exploring the topic of water security and the many responses being explored to guarantee our future access to the world’s most precious resource.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


This month in International Geneva

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Lake Geneva is shared by Switzerland and France, who have several agreements for the sustainable use of the lake, such as for fishing. Ministers are coming to Geneva to discuss cooperation on transboundary watercourses. (Credit: Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

🌊Ministers travel to Geneva for discussions on shared watercourses. The ninth session of the Water Convention kicked off on Wednesday. Ministers of the environment, water and energy gathered in Geneva and online to discuss how cooperation around transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers can help prevent conflict, and how to address the ever growing challenges posed by dwindling resources.

By Michelle Langrand (EN)

🏆 Honouring humanitarians, environmentalists and rights activists. The winners of two prestigious awards were announced on Wednesday. The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award went to a Yemeni humanitarian organisation that has provided a lifeline to tens of thousands of displaced people. And the Right Livelihood Award championed four environmentalists and activists from Canada, Cameroon, Russia and India.

By Pip Cook (EN)

🇺🇳Human Rights Council. The focus of the 48th session which ends next week has ranged from the humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Myanmar to chemical companies’ lies about hazardous waste and AI’s threat to human rights. Catch up on our coverage here.

By Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else we're talking about

Interview of the month

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WWF's director general Marco Lambertini at an event. (Credit: WWF/Richard Stonehouse)

WWF chief: philanthropy won't be enough to reverse biodiversity loss. Philanthropists and investors last week pledged record sums to stop the rapid decline of the world’s biodiversity – a step in the right direction but one that still falls short of urgent needs, WWF International’s director general Marco Lambertini tells Geneva Solutions.

By Michelle Langrand (EN)

Tackling the global water crisis

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(Credit: Rocio Egio for Geneva Solutions)

The water we share. This month, we’ve been focusing on water security and exploring the most pressing challenges to our precious resource. From using water to rebuild peace in Syria to the Chilean activists battling to reclaim their water and the search for new ways to finance projects in Kenya, we’ve looked at the many responses being explored to guarantee our future access. As part of the series, we held our first event last week with the Geneva Press Club examining how water can serve as both a weapon of war and an instrument of peace.

Read more on Geneva Solutions.

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