Study trip of EU International Relations and Diplomacy students to Geneva

During the first week of March 2024, the students of the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies visited Geneva to learn more about the work of various international organisations as well as the coordination between the EU member states in the context of multilateral diplomacy. In addition to high-level lectures and interactive discussions, the students enjoyed a fondue dinner at a traditional Swiss restaurant and had the opportunity to network with College of Europe Alumni.

The first visit was held at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations headquarters, where students met with representatives from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A group of students also visited the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) to learn more about international health governance. The second day started with a panel at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with the support of DiploFoundation, during which topics such as climate, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity were discussed. Students had, inter alia, the chance to exchange with Maja Drazenovic-Carrieri, Director of Governance Services at the WMO, Olivier Coutau, Delegate to International Geneva, and Ermira Fida, Deputy Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). On the same day, the students then visited the World Trade Organization (WTO), addressing recent developments at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference, digital trade as well as dispute settlement with College Alumni working in the organisation.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Permanent Mission of the EU to the WTO and the Delegation of the EU to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, where the students had the chance to debate current affairs with the two EU Ambassadors in Geneva: H.E. Ambassador Lotte Knudsen (Head of the EU Delegation to the UN) and H.E. Ambassador João Aguiar Machado (Head of the EU Mission to the WTO), both College of Europe Alumni. Students also attended a panel on Team Europe priorities with the member-state ambassadors of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden, which was moderated by two students. Finally, they chose to visit one of the following institutions to be briefed about new developments in, respectively, international trade, the climate-security and terrorism-technology nexus, humanitarian work, and human rights: the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Throughout the study trip, career opportunities were presented as well.

The College of Europe is grateful to all speakers for dedicating their time and sharing their expertise and would in particular like to thank two sponsors, namely, the Swiss Mission to the UN and the Office for International Geneva of the Republic and State of Geneva, for their generous support.


IRD Department Study Trip - March 2024