Prof. Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg from InterKulturForum GmbH as NGO representatives took part in the 42nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO,
which took place from November 7th to 22nd, 2023 at the organization's headquarters in Paris. NGOs in UNESCO are represented by the NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee.
In addition to the usual sessions on education, science and culture, this time there was a high-level dialogue Ministerial Meeting on education for peace to discuss how to educate to bring about real and lasting peace. There also was a three hour high-level segment about (re)thinking the commons for acting together. This segment started with an inaugural lecture by Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty , Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History at the University of Chicago, titeled "Many worlds, one planet" on global public goods and how they need to be rethought worldwide. The lecture was followed by local discussions of partner universities of UNESCO. After this, a high-level session of the partners forum with Heads of State and Governments, heads of multilateral organizations, CEOs, and civil society leaders discussed how to collaborate to address climate disruption and digital transformation. Alain Berset, Federal President of Switzerland, participated in this meeting. From November 7 to 17 there also was a "Partnership Hub", a dedicated space hosting representatives of governments, NGOs, and other civil societies to strengthen the connections between UNESCO and its partners as wellas between partners.
On October 24, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs reported in Basel on Switzerland's activities in the UN Security Council.The main lecture was given by Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl,
Head of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York. She reported on the experiences since Switzerland joined the UN Security Council, the goals and priorities of the Swiss mission
as well as possible goals in the coming months, such as strengthening the connection between the two UN capitals, New York and Geneva.
The event in Basel was hosted by the Swiss Peace Foundation (Swisspeace). Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg were invited to the event as members of the IKF and the Swiss-UN Society (GSUN).
From December 14 to 16 UNESCO held its "2022 International Conference of NGOs" in its headquarters in Paris under the motto "Breaking barriers - What role for civil society
organizations towards a sustainable future". The conference was opened by a representative of the Director-General of UNESCO and Mr. Davide Grosso, chairperson of the International
Conference of NGOs and the NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee. Conference topics were:
approval of the Activity and the Financial Report of the NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee
election of a new NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee and a new chairperson of the International Conference of NGOs and the NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee
Multistakeholder approaches to achieve the sustainable development goals: Opportunities and challenges for NGOs
Brainstorming on the programme for 2023-2024
The evolving role and future of civil society organizations and partnerships in the global movement for the transformation of education in a fast changing and challenging world
Stronger together: working with National Commissions
Report of the Commission of Elections on the new NGO-UNESCO Liason Committee
The conference was closed by the Outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Davide Grosso and the presentation of the newly-elected Chairperson - Mr. Nick Newland.
Dr. Natalia Maslakova-Clauberg and Dr. Rolf Clauberg attended the International Conference of NGOs for the first time.
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.