16/05/2014

“Rebranding” the United Nations Office in Geneva

A serious effort is being made by the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) to “rebrand” his organization. Michael Møller, a Danish diplomat with extensive experience in the United Nations system, is energetically trying to give new life and a new image through a host of activities and presentations.

He is to be commended. Not only does the historic Palais des Nations need a serious face-lift if not major cosmetic surgery including implants and replacements, but many of the organizations associated with the UN in Geneva, such as the Conference on Disarmament and the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round, could use some massive adrenalin (testosterone?) injections. Add to that the growing role of NGO’s, the private sector and competition from other cities for hosting conferences and organizations, and one can see that Mr. Møller has a lot on his plate. And he is officially only an Acting Director who says he is not actively competing for the regular position!

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10:44 Publié dans Geneva, Genève, UNO | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) |  Imprimer |  Facebook | | | |

09/05/2014

The Importance of Didier Burkhalter’s ”Cher Colleague”

During his recent visit to Moscow, Didier Burkhalter referred to Vladimir Putin as “Cher Colleague” before the cameras. While this might not seem like a monumental step towards de-escalating the violence in Ukraine or resolving the crisis, it was a highly symbolic gesture that warrants more attention than it has received.

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02/05/2014

The Myth of the Nation-State

The idea of the nation-state is one of the most powerful paradigms in modern political thought. It means that within given borders and under a legitimate government there resides some form of homogeneous group, ideally ethnically similar. The philosopher Ernst Gellner once quipped, “Each nation should have a country and each country should have a nation, and hopefully they are the same”.

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