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26 January 2024 Press release

Winter School 2024 - A decade of raising awareness on rights in North Africa - the Middle East

10 ans Ecole d'Hiver © Direction de la Communication – Stéphane Danna

From 22 to 26 January, for the tenth year running, the Department of International Cooperation offered first-year students at Sciences Po's Mediterranean-Middle East Campus a chance to experience its traditional Winter School: a week of events designed to raise awareness of international solidarity and rights in the Mediterranean region.

Since the first ever event in January 2015, almost 1,500 students from the Sciences Po campus in Menton have been made aware of the issues surrounding Official Development Assistance. For the past decade, the Monegasque Cooperation has called upon its partners, all international experts in their field, to work with first-year students from the neighbouring campus. For the Government of Monaco, this unconventional teaching week, developed by professionals, is a unique opportunity to create vocations among tomorrow's leaders while raising awareness of the Principality's commitment to solidarity.

The topics covered range from: An introduction to International Humanitarian Law (currently more relevant than ever) by the spokespersons of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Lucile Marbeau and Frédéric Joli, to the rights of refugees and the rights of women and girls. The 181 students from around forty different countries were able to benefit from the expertise and commitment of speakers such as François Reybet-Degat, Representative in Morocco of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jean Dzene from Fondation Apprentis d'Auteuil, and Patrick Teixeira, Deputy Country Director of the United Nations World Food Programme in Mauritania.

Founder of the NGO Handicap International and winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Jean-Baptiste Richardier is a loyal supporter of the Winter School and has agreed to be the Guest Speaker at this 10th edition of the event to discuss his humanitarian efforts in addition to his traditional lecture on the rights of people with disabilities. Handicap International was double-honoured this year as its advocacy officer, Baptiste Chapuis, raised student awareness of the EWIPA campaign (the fight against bombing in populated areas), another particularly relevant topic in these troubled times.

Finally, the week drew to a close with a solidarity challenge, where student teams were tasked with creating visual aids based on the five themes of the week (Children, Food, Refugees, Women/Girls and People with Disabilities). They were competing in aid of partner associations of the Monegasque Cooperation, which will receive the prize money.

Mrs Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, awarded the Grand Prize and concluded this anniversary edition by reminding us that "Monaco is a nation deeply connected to others and committed to contemporary issues. […] With an Official Development Assistance budget that has grown steadily over the last decade and 1.1% of government revenue devoted to it, Monaco now ranks among the most supportive nations per capita".


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