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Sustainable Development

The Department of Geosciences of the University of Fribourg will host the next Debate with International Organisations, taking place on Monday, 17 October (17:00 - 18:30).

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The process of arriving at the post-2015 development agenda was member state-led with broad participation from major groups and other civil society stakeholders. How did this collaboration take place and what are the opportunities and limits of the participatory approach in the implementation of the SDGs? Speakers of international organisations in Geneva and the public administration involved in this process will present their perspective and discuss the topic.

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The independence of international civil servants (ICSs) from their country of origin are incorporated in the founding documents of international organisations. But how do ICSs experience conflicts of interest caused by tensions between the organisation they belong to and their country of origin? A peer-reviewed article published in June 2016 in the journal “Public Administration” investigates this question empirically. The authors* examine whether ICSs face conflicts between national and international interests and which conditions are likely to produce such effects in international organisations. The study, carried out in two United Nations humanitarian agencies, reveals that the hierarchical grade has stronger explanatory power than other factors. Valentina Mele (Bocconi University) and Simon Anderfuhren-Biget (University of Geneva), co-authors of the article that was prized in 2015 with the SNIS International Geneva Award will present the key findings of their research and discuss the topic with representatives of UN committees at the up-coming UN Library Talk on 11 October 2016.

* Valentina Mele (Bocconi University), Simon Anderfuhren-Biget (University of Geneva), Frédéric Varone (University of Geneva) – Article published in: Public Administration, Vol. 94, Issue 2, pages 490-508, June 2016

Read more about the event and how to register

The article is available in open access (limited period): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/padm.12228/abstract


Palais des Nations

The SNIS is launching the 2016 edition of the International Geneva Award that prizes three outstanding articles published on a subject related to international studies and which are deemed especially pertinent from the perspective of international organisations. The SNIS allocates CHF 5'000 to each winning article. The submission is open to professors or researches at a post-doctoral level working in Swiss university at the time of the paper's publication. Applications will be reviewed by the International Geneva Committee, composed of representatives of international organisations in Geneva with expertise in one or several areas relevant to international studies.

Deadline for submission: 5 October 2016

For more information go to: http://snis.ch/igc-award-2016

SNIS Annual Report 2015

The SNIS Annual Report entitled “Helping the Transition” makes reference to the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the UN in 2015. There are goals and targets, but the roadmaps have yet to be created. This is where the SNIS comes in: supporting research that can be translated into concrete actions.

The upward trend in partnerships in the submitted project proposals reflects the necessity to create multiple, truly interdisciplinary research collaborations when tackling complex, contemporary issues such as sustainable development. As Francesco Pisano, Director of the UN Library in Geneva and President of the International Geneva Committee, points out: “This is the best time for the SNIS – the SDGs make it more important and relevant than ever.”

The networking and dissemination activities have always been a very important part of the SNIS mission. Over sixty working papers with results of funded projects are proposed in open access on the SNIS website. Filmed documentaries complement the more classical academic research dissemination by telling powerful stories that help spur policy action.

Read the report


Dhodar (The Dilemma)

Dōdhār (The Dilemma), a SNIS produced research documentary, addresses the issue of men moving away from Nepali villages in search for work, leaving behind their mothers, wives and daughters who struggle in their daily life to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The documentary is based on the SNIS project “Sustainable Land Management in Mountain Regions of Bolivia and Nepal in the Context of Outmigration, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction”.

Up-coming screenings:

Bern:  Thursday, 25 August 2016  - starting at 12:15

Center for Development and Environment (Room 310) - Hallerstrasse 10, Bern

Geneva: Friday, 26 August 2016 – starting at 12:15

International Organization for Migration (Conference Room 1st Floor)

Route des Morillons 17, Geneva

Registration required at: http://bit.ly/IOMRegister

Lausanne: Tuesday, 20 September 2016 - starting at 11:00

University of Lausanne, Geopolis (Room 2130), UNIL Dorigny
Film Screening and Book Launch Event


Watch the trailer

View the documentary's website