Lectures & Guest speakers

The Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations is committed to bridging the gap between theory and practice in the field of International Relations. In addition to GSD’s international relations courses given by our renowned faculty, serving Ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic neighbourhood, representatives from the International Organisations as well as high-level experts on cutting edge issues are regularly invited to share their invaluable knowledge and experience with the students.

Schedule for Academic Year 2019-2020, Spring Semester

The spring 2020 semester will resume on Monday 03 February 2020 and our Issues & Challenges sessions will start on Wednesday 05 February 2020.

  • Wednesday, February 5, 14:00 – 16:00: Ms. Beris Gwynne, Incitāre, Founder and Managing Director, former diplomat (Australia), former chief executive in Aid agencies. “Strategic Foresight & Diplomacy”.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 14:00 – 16:00: Amb. Dr. John J. Maresca, Former Rector of the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and US Ambassador. “A Career Path of a Diplomat”.
  • Wednesday, March 4, 14:00 – 16:00: Amb. Kire Ilioski, Director -Office of the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. “UNECE and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”
  • Wednesday, April 1, 14:00 – 16:00: H.E. Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Wednesday, April 29, 14:00 – 16:00: Mr. Gary Stahl, The Director-General of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “How to partner with business to reach SDGs?”.

Schedule for Academic Year 2019-2020, Fall Semester

The fall 2019 semester will resume on Monday 2 September 2019 and our Issues & Challenges sessions will start on Wednesday 4 September 2019.

  • Wednesday September 4, 14:00 – 16:00: Amb. Dr. John J. Maresca, former Rector of the University for Peace, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and US Ambassador about “The Current Situation of the Two Koreas and the Possible Relevance of the “Helsinki Model.”
  • Wednesday September 11, 14:00 – 16:00: H.E. Ambassador, Prof. Dr. Athar Sultan-Khan, GSD Dean, Special Advisor on Diplomatic Matters to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about “Diplomacy by Dialogue: New Challenges, New Solutions.”
  • Wednesday September 18, 14:00 – 16:00: Mr. Hugo SLIM, Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy ICRC, about “The ICRC Humanitarian Diplomacy in a re-ordering world.”
  • Wednesday October 16, 14:00 – 16:00: Mr. Stefan Ziegler, GSD Faculty Consultancy for Advocacy and Capacity Building, about “Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: Elections Monitoring Experience.”
  • Lecture 1:Wednesday October 30, 14:00 – 15:00: H.E. Ambassador Sibi George, Ambassador of India to Switzerland, Liechtenstein and The Holy See (Vatican), Topic TBC
  • Lecture 2: Wednesday October 30, 15:00 – 16:00: Professor V. Shivkumar, Coordinator/Managing Trustee, Indo-Latin American Association for International Trade and Cultural Cooperation (regd) , Former Visiting, Professor, Centre for European Studies, and , Former Coordinator, UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asia Regional Cooperation (UMISARC); Pondicherry Central University, Former Vice Chancellor; Former Nominee of the Chancellor, Academic Council,Goa University; Former Visiting Professor, University of Colima, Mexico; Former Director, UGC Center for Latin American and Intl. Studies, India, about “Reflections on Indo-Latin American Relations.”
  • Wednesday November 13 at 17:00-20:00 – GSD Talent Show –
  • Wednesday November 27, 14:00 – 16:00  – H.E. Alexandre Guido Lopes Parola, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the WTO and Other Economic Organizations in Geneva. “Brazil at WTO”.
  • Wednesday December 11, 13:00 – 14:30 His Royal Highness Prince Radu of Romania, accompanied by the spouse — Her Royal Highness Princess Margareta of Romania, Custodian of the Crown of Romania, The Head of the House of Romania and a disputed pretender to the former Romanian throne. “Royal Diplomacy and Romania Today”.

Schedule for Academic Year 2018-2019, Spring Semester

The Spring 2018-2019 semester will resume on Monday 4 February 2019 and our Issues & Challenges sessions will start on Wednesday 6 February 2019.

  • Wednesday 6 February 2019, 13h30 – 15h30: Ms. Paula Gil BAIZAN,  Expert on Foresight and Behavioural Insights for Humanitarian Aid about: ‘Strategic Trends in the Humanitarian Sector’
  • Wednesday 20 February 2019, 14h00-16h00: H.E. Ambassador Chitra Narayanan, Former Ambassador of India to Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Holy See about: ‘Practicing Diplomacy across cultures
  • Friday 15 March 2019, 10h00 – 12h00: Mr. Andras Vamos-GoldmanJustice Rapid Response (JRR), Executive Director about: ”International Criminal Justice; working as intended?”
  • Wednesday 20 March 2019, 13h15-14h45: Prof. Yuval SHANY, The Chair of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair International Law at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem about: ”Paradigms Shift in International Mechanisms of Human Rights Protection”
  • Wednesday 3 April 2019, 14h00-16h00: Dr. Edo KORLJAN, Secretary of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation and Head of the Public and Private Law Development Unit of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe about: Challenges of Representing One Organization (Council of Europe) in another (United Nations)”
  • Tuesday 9 April 2019, 14h00-16h00: Mr. Francis Gurry, Director-General the World Intellectual Property (WIPO) about: “Why is Intellectual Property (IP) moving to the Center of the Economic System?”
  • Wednesday 15 May 2019, Prof. Dr. Aysegül Kibaroglu, Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at MEF University, Istanbul about: “Water Diplomacy in the Middle East: Challenges and Prospects”

Schedule for Academic Year 2018-2019, Fall Semester

The 2018-2019 Issues & Challenges (I&C) lectures & events will commence in our Fall 2018 semester. Classes resume on Monday 3 September 2018 and our Issues & Challenges sessions will start on Wednesday September 5, 2018.

  • Wednesday 5 September 2018, 15h00 – 17h00: Mr. Adrien-Claude Zoller, President, NGO “Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training” about: ‘Role of religious institutions and their associations in promotion of human rights and international policy making’
  • Wednesday 19 September 2018, 15h30-17h00: H.E. Dr. Athaliah Lesiba MOLOKOMME, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations Office about: ‘Determinants of Economic Growth: Botswana’s Success Story (TBC)’
  • Wednesday 3 October 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Mehran Gul, Project Lead, Digital Transformation Initiative at World Economic Forum about: ‘Impact of Technology on International Relations and Economic Power’
  • Wednesday 17 October 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: H.E Amb. Foo Kok Jwee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations Office about: ‘Blue Diplomacy: Security, Environment, Sustainability, Ethics (TBC)’
  • Wednesday 31 October 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Ms. Milena Costas Trascasas, Consultant, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights about: ‘Special issues in human rights: combatting terrorism, money laundering and corruption
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: H.E. Amb. Mohamed Saleck Ould Mohamed Lemine,The former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania about: ‘Mauritania Today: Prospects on the Moving Beyond Traditional Practices (TBC)
  • Wednesday 28 November 2018, 14h00 – 16h00:Ms. Mina L. Hafa, Advisor, Administration of the President of Senegal about: ‘International Development from a Digital Diplomacy Perspective: Governance Approaches in Africa’
  • CANCELLED: Wednesday 12 December 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Peter G. Splinter

Schedule for Academic Year 2017 – 2018, Spring Semester

The 2017-2018 Issues & Challenges (I&C) lectures & events will commence in our Spring 2018 semester. Classes resume on Monday 5 February and our Issues & Challenges sessions will start on Wednesday February 7, 2018.

  • Wednesday 7 February 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Stefan Ziegler, GSD Faculty and Consultancy for Advocacy and Capacity Building about: ‘Separation Wall between Palestine and Israel: a case study from UNRWA’
  • Friday 16 February 2018, 14h30 – 16h30: Mr. Nev Hyman, General Partner, Nevhouse
  • Wednesday 21 February 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Shaikh Manssour Bin Mussallam, President of the Education Relief Foundation (ERF)
  • Tuesday 27 February 2018: 11.30 – 13.00: Conferral Ceremony to honour H.E. Mr. Filipe Nyusi, President of the People’s Republic of Mozambique. President Nyusi will be conferred with a Doctor of International Relations, honoris causa, by the Geneva School of Diplomacy
  • Wednesday 7 March 2018, 14h00 – 16ho0: Professor Dr. Athar Sultan-Khan, Special Adviser on Diplomatic Matters to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Dean Geneva School of Diplomacy
  • Wednesday 21 March 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: H.E. Vaqif Sadıqov, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Wednesday 18 April 2018, 14h00 – 16h00: Ambassador Thomas Guerber, Director Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF);
  • Wednesday 2 May 2018, 14hoo – 16hoo: Ms. Valerie Meredith, Adviser Missing Persons and their Families, Central Tracing Agency/ Protection Division, International Committee of the Red Cross – ICRC

Schedule for Academic Year 2017 – 2018, Fall Semester

  • Wednesday 6 September 2017, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Jörn ErbguthIndependent Consultant in Legal Tech, PhD-candidate at the UNIGE, former CTO at Swisslex AG, about: ‘From E-Government and Digital State to Distributed Virtual Nations
  • Wednesday 20 September 2017, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Diego GilardoniAuthor, Journalist, and International Business Consultant with his Book Presentation: “Decoding China: cross-cultural strategies for successful business with the Chinese”
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017, 14h00 – 16h00: Mr. Mark Smitham Manager of Cybersecurity Policy EU Government Affairs MICROSOFT, Brussels, Belgium about: ‘Cyberscurity
  • Friday 3 November 2017: 12h00 – 14h00: Dr. Reza Hasmath, Professor in Political Science at the University of Alberta about: ‘Chinese NGOs’ Strategies for Navigating the Domestic and International Environment’
  • Wednesday 15 November 2017, 14h00 – 16h00: Lawrence FiorettaSenior Communications Officer Strategic Communications Section, UNHCR about: Emerging Issues in Refugee Protection’
  • Friday 17 November 2017: 10h00 – 12h00: Mal Berisha, Former Ambassador of Albania to the United Kingdom: ”Soft power as a tool of public diplomacy: My 1358 days in London”
  • Wednesday 29 November 2017, 14h00 – 16h00: His Excellency Ambassador Farukh Amil, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva. Last I&C of fall 2017 semester.

If you would like to join lecture(s) held at GSD, please send us an email to events@genevadiplomacy.com and we will make sure a place is reserved for you.

The Issues & Challenges Lectures of Spring 2017

  • Wednesday 8 February 2017 (2 – 4 pm): Mr. Michael Moller, Director General of the UNOG on ‘Today’s Global Challenges and the role of the UN
  • Wednesday 22 February 2017 (2 – 4 pm): Mr. Michel Jarraud, Secretary General Emeritus of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on ‘Implementing the Paris climate agreement: the governance challenge’
  • Tuesday 28 February 2017 (12.30 – 2 pm): Mr. Maurizio Bona, Advisor to the Director-General of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) on ‘Science for Peace in Diplomacy’
  • Wednesday 8 March 2017 (2 – 4 pm): Ms. Maria Luz Vega Ruiz, Coordinator of the Future of Work Initiative, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) about ‘ILO at its centenary: time to discuss the Future of Work’
  • Friday 10 March 2017 (13.30 -3pm): Mr. Nick Sacha, Professor at SUMAS about Sustainable Development Goals
  • Wednesday 22 March 2017 (2 – 4 pm): Mr. Xavier Colin, Editorial Producer & Presenter, Geopolitics Magazine, RTS & TV5Monde about ‘Media and Current Geopolitical Challenges’
  • Tuesday 28 March (12h30 – 14h00 pm): Mr. Jan Hoffmann, Chief, Trade Logistics Branch Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD about ‘Trade Facilitation and Development: Implications of the TFA’
  • Friday 31 March 2017 (1.30 – 3 pm): Mr. Luis Enrique Chavez Basagoitia, Ambassador of Peru about ‘“Indigenous people Rights in Latin America”
  • Wednesday 19 April 2017 (2 – 4 pm): H.E. Mr. Andrés FRANCO, Deputy Director, Private Sector Engagement, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) about: “Are Business Contributions Over-rated for Social Change?”
  • Tuesday 2 May 2017 (12h30 – 14h00): Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on  ‘Intellectual Property and the Knowledge Economy”
  • Tuesday 16 May 2017 (12.30-2 pm) Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI The Vaccine Alliance

The Issues & Challenges Lectures schedule of Fall 2016:

An overview of some of our previous guest speakers and their discussion topics:

Archbishop Silvano M. TOMASI, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva The Diplomatic Role of the Holy See in International Arena
Mr. Miguel CAMACHO, Programme Adviser at The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Women and Trade Programme Women’s Economic Empowerment
Mr. Juan Pablo CARDENAL, Journalist & Writer, Former Correspondent in China and Front line Researcher on China’s Global Reach China goes global: Opportunities and Challenges
Mr. Naoufel DRIDI, Operation Logistics Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) The Political and Logistical Challenges of Humanitarian Operations: the Médecins Sans Frontières experience
Mr. Paulo CAVALERI, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Lawyer An Overview of International Disaster Law: Perspective from the International Federation of the Red Cross
Ms. Gordana JERGER, The World Food Programme (WFP), Geneva Office, Director Ending Hunger in our Lifetime
Amb. Nazhat Mameem KHAN, Ambassador of Fiji to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva Legal and Policy Planning for the Vulnerable and Climate Change
Mr. Jini Sebakunzi, R20-Regions of Climate Action, East Africa Program Manager Transition from private sector to NGO; discovering challenges of International Development
Mr. Dmitry Godunov, UNCTAD, Division on Technology and Logistics Practical Tips for the Aspiring Diplomats
Mr. Nicholas Krohley, Founder & CEO of Subaltern Research Services Shi’ite militarism in Iraq, and the regional influence of Iran
Judge Mauro Politi, Member of the UN Human Rights Committee; former Judge of the International Criminal Court Recent Activities of the Human Rights Committee
Dr. Burkhard Varnholt, CIO of Bank Julius Bär; Founder of “Kids of Africa” Thoughts about leadership in a changing global economy
Mr. Bohdan Nahajlo, Independent International Political and Humanitarian Affairs Specialist; former Chief of the UN DPA Team in Ukraine; former senior policy adviser for the UNHCR The Ukrainian Crisis: Challenges and Lessons
Mr. Stefan Ziegler, Training Consultant and Humanitarian Practitioner Learning Alliance – A tool for networking
Dr. Olga Khazova, UN CRC expert; Professor at the Institute of State & Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia Children Rights and Some of the Emerging Challenges
Dr. Bo Viktor Nylund, Senior Advisor – Corporate Social Responsibility at UNICEF The state responsibility to protect children’s rights, and the corporate responsibility to respect and support children’s rights in the context of business activities
Dr. Joseph Marques, Visiting Research Fellow, Brazil Institute at King’s College in London Update on Latin America: Domestic Pressures, Regional Relations and International Challenges
Mr. Babak Ali Naraghi, Head of the Health Care in Danger Project at the Directorate of Operations, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Health Care in Danger
Judge Mauro Politi, Representative of Italy in the UN Human Rights Committee; Former Judge of the International Criminal Court Human Rights and the International Criminal Court
Christina Kokkinakis, Minister Counsellor, Head of Political Section – Human Rights, EU Permanent Delegation to the UN in Geneva EUs human rights policy after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in the context of the Human Rights Council (HRC)
Mr. Dougal Thomson, Director of Communications & Programmes at International Publishers Association Media in the 21st Century
Ms. Lisa Simeone, GMPA Secretary, Lecturer in the College and Residential Fellow, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; Doctoral Candidate, Department of Anthropology University of Chicago Migration from African continent to the USA
Dr. Jean-Michel Pasteels, Independent researcher and consultant Projections of Labour Force at the horizon 2030: Economic Consequences
Mr. Julien Navier, UNHCR, Division of External Relations Diplomacy, foreign affairs and social development through International Organizations and private sector collaborative outreach
Mr. Remo Lalli, UN CEB- Secretary, High Level Commitee on Management, Director Management Reform and Business Practices in the UN System
Dr. Imène Ajala, International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights, Project Manager Internet and Human Rights
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