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MIRD students explore international organisations in Geneva

From 25 to 27 March, second-year students of the Advanced MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) took part in the programme's annual visit to Geneva, Switzerland. Students participated in institutional visits focusing on a wide range mandates in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy.

The city of Geneva is iconic for the strong presence of the United Nations and related agencies. Students gained insight into the mandate of the World Health Organization, where experts highlighted the importance of the International Health Regulations, especially in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Students then had a tour of the famous Palais des Nations, coupled with a sneak peek in the gallery to listen to the final comments from diplomatic representatives on the most recent periodic review.

From humanitarian aid to diplomacy in security situations

The group explored topics of humanitarian aid from the perspective of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Museum. At the IFRC, students heard first hand from the Head of Delegation and Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Walter Cotte Witingan, who has decades of experience leading disaster and crisis risk management campaigns across the world. Students then widened their expertise as the group was welcomed at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) where top researchers presented on 'The security situation in Europe and the importance of diplomatic dialogue' followed by an insightful Q&A session.

International trade cooperation

Students were invited to Geneva’s most prominent intergovernmental organization on international trade cooperation, the World Trade Organization (WTO). Speakers highlighted the important role of Director-General Okonjo-Iweala who notably pioneers in the position as the first woman and first African to lead as Director-General. There was discussion as well highlighting important results from the recent 13th Ministerial Conference, including the accession of two new members as well as attention to dispute settlement reform.

'This trip was a very enriching experience that complemented well the academic part of the master’s programme' 

A great oppurtunity

Second year student Sofia reflects: 'The trip to Geneva was a great opportunity to visit and learn more about the UN institutions and other international organisations at a practical level. I consider that this trip was a very enriching experience that complemented well the academic part of the master’s programme. Apart from this, having Swiss fondue for dinner was definitely a highlight.'

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