What happened in ‘International Geneva’ in 2021?

The Covid-19 pandemic, a Biden-Putin face-to-face summit and record humanitarian crises: Geneva-based journalists reflect on a busy year and offer a glimpse into the future.

This content was published on December 14, 2021

Podcast host Imogen Foulkes is joined in this episode by fellow Geneva-based correspondents who work for international news outlets.

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Covid-19 dominated the news for the second year in a row in 2021. As the world prepares to enter “Year Three” of the pandemic, the future remains uncertain.

“There is no real perspective on when this is going to end. We had this kind of summer of hope, and then Omicron [variant] comes along and we have this question: where are we going to be in 12 months’ time,” asks Nick Cumming-Bruce, a contributor to The New York Times.

All eyes were on Geneva in June when US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in the Swiss city for a historic summit.

Questions still remain, however, about whether the US has delivered on its promised return to multilateralism.

“I didn’t see the loud and clear voice of the USA defending human rights at the Human Rights Council. They were there, but kind of shy,” says Gabriela Sotomayor, a correspondent for the Mexican magazine Proceso.

In the meantime, humanitarian needs in crisis-affected countries reached record highs this year.

“Geneva’s aid agencies are doing the best they can in these crises – perpetual crises,” says analyst Daniel Warner.

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For more insights and discussions from Switzerland's international city, subscribe to Inside Geneva on Apple PodcastsExternal linkSpotifyExternal link, or wherever you get your podcasts. And subscribe to our newsletter, where you'll hear directly from Imogen Foulkes in your inbox.

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