ICRC head regrets aid’s political hijacking

Peter Maurer, Int. Red Cross head

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Peter Maurer, president of the International Red Cross (ICRC) says humanitarian actions are increasingly hijacked for political purposes by parties in conflicts, complicating his organization’s ability to operate. Maurer’s statements at the Graduate Institute on Thursday 2 October coincided with the death of a Swiss ICRC administrator, Laurent DuPasquier, in Donetsk, in eastern […]

Wipo joins WTO in negotiations stalemate

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva itself and the Swiss Confederation are bubbling with activity to promote the city as a dynamic international centre, but two blots on the record are a spreading impression that the WTO and Wipo are in crisis, with stalemates at both organizations. Wipo stalemate over future committee work In the early hours […]

UNHCR, states, grapple with funding crisis

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN refugee agency says funding needs for refugees are rapidly outstripping means and the global aid funding system needs rethinking. The UNHCR, meeting with the executive committee of its governing council this week, says five “full-blown” emergencies this year and the largest number of displaced persons since the second world war, […]

Animal population drops 52% in 40 years

WWF Living Planet Report 2014 Cover

WWF’s Living Planet Report says Latin America worst hit GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Animal life is disappearing from the planet at a more alarming rate than previously believed, the latest WWF report, Living Planet 2014, indicates, with 52 percent of the animal population disappearing in the past 40 years. The rate leaps to 80 percent in […]

Happy birthday Cern (history video)

Aerial view Cern - Photo Cern

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – This week is the big 60th birthday for Cern, although celebrations started months ago and will continue for several more weeks. In today’s context of scientific excellence it is easy to forget that the organization was created in the aftermath of the second world war with twin goals. Cern officials have been […]

Conflicts behind 24% increase in refugees

Second half of year likely to be even higher GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The number of refugees arriving in Europe continued to rise in the first half of 2014, displaced by fighting in Syria and Iraq but also Afghanistan and Eritrea. Figures released Friday 26 September by the UN refugee organization in Geneva, the UNHCR,  show […]

Swiss add CHF20 milllion to Syrian aid funds

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is increasing its humanitarian aid funds for Syria by CHF20 million to CHF50m for 2014, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said 23 September, “in view of the constantly deteriorating situation – with almost 14 million people in Syria and its neighbouring states now in need of aid.” The additional funds, announced at […]

22 million natural hazard refugees last year

NRC displaced persons graph_170914

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Three times as many people were displaced by natural hazard events as by conflicts in 2013, according to a study published 17 September by the Norwegian Refugee Council. The study is being presented to the UN in New York today by the NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. The centre’s report shows, based […]

IP decisions: Google and Napster happy winners

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Google is a company, not a verb – unless you mean to google using Google. Thus spoke the US District Court for Arizona,  this week, Geneva-based IP Watch reports. The decision came in a case involving a couple who had registered 763 domain names that all included the word “google”. The court […]

Up to 160 may be lost at sea off Libya (update)

UNHCR warns “we need to wake up”, with 2,500 drownings this year GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Yet another large boat carrying families who are fleeing Syria capsized in the Mediterranean over the weekend, with 37 people rescued out of an estimated 200 on board the vessel. The accident just off the coast of Libya was one […]