On November 21st and 22nd, the 13th International Forum of NGOs in Partnership with UNESCO discussed the mobilization of NGOs for the International Decade of Indigenous
Languages and Ocean Decade, in hybrid mode - local in Ottawa and online globally. The event was opened by Mr Davide Grosso, Chairperson of the International Conference of NGOs and the
NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee. He was supported by Mr Nick Newland and Dr Teresa Kennedy, both Co-Chairs of the 13th International Forum, and members of the NGO UNESCO
Liaison Committee, as well as online contributions from Mr Vladimir Ryabinin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General and Executive Director for the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Dr Marielza Oliveira, Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO,
Dr Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg, Advisor for Communication and Information, Universal Access to Information Section, UNESCO, as well as by various presenters from NGOs.
Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg participated online as NGO members.
On October 7, the Committee on Non-Governmental Partners of the Executive Board of UNESCO met in its Paris Headquarter.
In this meeting the Committee decided various issues under item 33 of the Agenda of the Executive Board entitled “Relations with non-governmental partners”, which are
all extensively referred to in documents 215 EX/33 and 215 EX/33.INF available online. Items discussed were statutory questions concerning admissions and renewals of relations
with NGOs and foundations, which will be examined by the Committee, as well as initiatives and measures taken to foster the engagement of the network of NGO partners.
Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg participated as NGO-observers in this meeting. But of course we also looked at the culture presented in the UNESCO Headquarter.
On October 5, the Swiss Society for Foreign Policy (SGA-ASPE) held a discussion in Bern on the Swiss neutrality issue.
First there were three lectures on this topic by
- André Holenstein - Professor of Swiss History, University of Bern
- Christina Graf - foraus, Co-Head of Diplomacy & International Actors
- Daniel Woker - Co-Founder of «Share-an-Ambassador/Geopolitics of Experts»
Professor Holenstein focused on neutrality as deeply rooted in the Swiss self-image, the historical development of Swiss neutrality, and the actual acceptance of this neutrality by warring factions. His core statement was that neutrality alone could never guarantee Switzerland's security, but only in connection with specific Swiss political activities. Christina Graf's core statement was that neutrality is not an outdated concept, but that it must be interpreted in a contemporary way.
The individual presentations were followed by a discussion on the topic moderated by Markus Mugglin (board member of the SGA-ASPE).
Dr. Rolf Clauberg from the association attended as a member of the SGA-ASPE. Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg also attended.
On September 21st the “International Association for Intercultural Dialogue and Geostrategic Studies” (IAGS), together with the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI) organized a 1st conference on "Modern global economic, political and social crises and risks" in online format. As is visible from the title, the goal was to discuss different global crises and risks in economic, political, and social areas occurring today. To this purpose 12 experts from 5 different countries - Italy, Morocco, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland - were invited to an online roundtable discussion. The following first shows screenshots from the conference and then the list of presentations with related links to the summaries.
On September 13, UNESCO started its 1st edition of the Webinar Series "How to Engage alongside UNESCO" organized by the UNESCO Secretariat in collaboration with the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, to foster mobilization and engagement of NGO partners around specific UNESCO’s flagships and priority programmes. Prof. Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg were invited to this online event and participated. The first program presented for NGO participation was Ocean decade. The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health. The event was opened by Mrs. Sabine Colombo, Head of UNESCO Relationships with Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations. Mr. Julian Barbière of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) presented the main details of the program.
On June 18, the Swiss Society for Foreign Policy (SGA-ASPE) and the
Swiss-UNO Society (GSUN) in the "Progr" in Bern on Foreign Policy Day. The event was opened by Christa
Markwalder - National Councilor and former President of the SGA-ASPE, and Ulrich Lehner - former Ambassador and President of the GSUN. During the event, Christa
Markwalder officially handed over the presidency of the SGA-ASPE to her successor, Roland Fischer. Then there was a discussion on the goals and expectations for
Switzerland in the UN Security Council. Switzerland was elected to the UN Security Council for 2 years by the UN General Assembly on June 9th. The Swiss Federal Council
recently proposed 4 priority areas for Switzerland in the UN Security Council: peacebuilding, protecting the civilian population in conflicts, climate security
and increasing the efficiency of the Security Council. Participants in the discussion were Flavio Milan - deputy head of the UNO department in the EDA/DFAE,
Roland Fischer - President of the SGA-ASPE and National Councilor, Angela Müller (GSUN), and Fabien Merz (CSS/ETHZ). The discussion was moderated by Markus Heiniger
(SGA-ASPE). Then there was a presentation by Pascale Baeriswyl - Ambassador and representative of Switzerland to the UN, with a discussion moderated by Christa
Markwalder and Ulrich Lehner. Another topic was the situation in Switzerland with regard to achieving the goals of the UN Agenda 2030.
During the discussion about the turning point in Europe, National Councilor Eric Nussbaumer, former National Councilor Regula Rytz, and Patrick Dümmler (Avenir Suisse), moderated by Markus Mugglin (SGA-ASPE), discussed Switzerland's security under peace, climate - and European policy aspects. The problems of Switzerland regarding accession to the EU were discussed. Little chance of joining in the near future was seen. However, the suggestion from the audience to join NATO instead was seen as even more unrealistic. After this discussion, the participants divided into 4 groups to discuss the following 4 topics: a) Health and Safety, b) Civil Society Involvement, c) Women and Peace, d) Environment, Climate, and Safety. Dr Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg took part in the topic "Women and Peace" and Dr. Rolf Clauberg took an active part in the topic "Environment, climate and safety".
The social aspects of the EU and in particular the question of wage protection for employees from countries with a lower standard of living were reasons why the Swiss Socialist Party in particular was critical of expanding bilateral talks with the EU towards a framework agreement. As recently as 2016, the SP saw the EU as being shaped by a neoliberal, undemocratic spirit and lacking in solidarity. On April 8, EU Commissioner Dr. Nicolas Schmit tried to explain the current social system in the EU in a lecture. Afterwards there was a discussion between the EU Commissioner, the director of economiesuisse Monika Rühl, and the SP national councilor Eric Nussbaumer about the social policy of the EU and bilateral relations with Switzerland. The EU Commissioner pointed out that there is now a better social protection in the EU and that the principle of "equal pay for the same work in the same place" is now anchored. But he also said that the benefits of the single market cannot come for free and that without a systematic solution, the bilateral agreements would continue to erode.
On April 6th, the Swiss Society for Foreign Policy (SGA-ASPE) hosted an event in Bern on the topic "War is raging in Europe - what can be done?".
The event started with a lecture by Ambassador Dr. Thomas Greminger, Director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy and former Secretary General of
the OSCE. The ambassador then answered questions from the audience.
Ambassador Greminger expects a new cold war. The channels of communication between Russia and the West have largely broken off. He assumes that the sanctions imposed by the West would hit Russia hard, but that it will take a long time for the effects to become apparent. He does not see the calls for further sanctions as realistic, since sanctions in the energy sector in particular would seriously damage the West itself. He also advocates a return to security policy discussions with Russia after the end of the current war and sees the OSCE in particular as a suitable instrument.
The BSC is an annual event happening since 2001. The organizer is the Behörden Spiegel. Attendants include high-level military officers, members of the European parliament and national parliaments, high-ranking members of the European Commission, representatives of EU and NATO governments, as well as representatives of the defense industry. Instead of choosing a partner country for the conference as done in many years before, this year the organizer chose four major organizations that support the European Union and NATO in the development of capabilities and armaments issues.
On 28 and 29 November 2019, the Department of European Studies of the University of Freiburg organized a conference on "Social Democracy and Europe". The main
topic was the analysis of the heavy losses of social democratic parties in France (PS), Germany (SPD) and Italy (PD). On both days of the conference there were
lectures on this topic. On the evening of November 28, there was a panel discussion "Forward or Standstill: la social-démocratie, une idée qui a fait son chemin?"
with Jean-Marc Ayrault, former Prime Minister of France, Sandro Gozi, President of the Union of European Federalists, Christian Levrat, President of the Swiss
Socialist Party and Council of State (Friborg), Dr. Angelica Schwall-Düren, former Deputy Chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, and Dr. Hannes Swoboda, former
chairman of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.
Prof. Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg had been invited by the head of the conference, Prof. Dr. Gilbert Casasus, and participated on both days.
Prof. Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg from the Association for Intercultural Dialogue and Geostrategic Studies participated in the 40th General Conference of UNESCO, which took place from 12 to 27 November 2019 at the headquarters of the Organization in Paris. They participated in various meetings on science, culture and non-governmental organizations. It was a unique experience of multilateral public diplomacy.