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IPHA boosts graduate education in humanitarian action in Geneva

26-10-2005 News Release No. 05/58

Beginning in October 2005, the University of Geneva's Interdisciplinary Programme in Humanitarian Action (IPHA) launched a new programme of study leading to a Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action, which replaced the former master’s degree in humanitarian action.

The IPHA’s new degree programme further reinforces the position of Geneva as a centre of excellence in humanitarian endeavour.

Courses will be offered from October to July. The programme can be completed in one year (or in two for those studying while employed). It is intended for people working in the field of humanitarian action and other, related fields and indeed for anyone who wants to learn more about the role of humanitarian action or put practical skills on a firm theoretical footing.

The programme strikes a balance between meeting individual needs and adopting group approaches corresponding to the requirements of teamwork in the field. A large teaching staff from various departments of the University of Geneva and other universities in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe, specialists from across the world, field experts and staff from IPHA-partner international and non-governmental humanitarian organizations will take part.

Several events will mark the start of classes. Today, 26 October, the graduation ceremony for IPHA students who completed their studies in 2005 is being hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Among those attending will be Jacques Forster, vice-president of the ICRC, Manuel Tornare, mayor of Geneva, and H.E. Khadija Rachida Masri, permanent representative of the African Union to the United Nations. During the ceremony, Jacques de Maio, ICRC head of operations for the Horn of Africa, will speak on " The stakes in Sudan in political and humanitarian terms: Darfur. "

During the 2005-06 academic year, the IPHA will organize six theme days for students and the general public. These events include round-table discussions, film screenings and debates on the following topics: " The silent tragedy of Darfur " (17 November), " The tsunami , one year later. Revisited in partnership with the Modern Asia Research Centre of the Graduate Institute of International Studies " (22 December), " Chernobyl, 20 years later: A humanitarian issue? " (2 February), " The Great Lakes region of Africa and its genocides " (16 March), " Afghanistan, the stakes of reconstruction " (3 May), " Precariousness, poverty and exclusion. A look at Switzerland " (13 June).

The theme days will be held in partnership with the International Film Festival on Human Rights. The event on 16 March will take place while the Festival is under way.

 For further information, please contact:  


 IPHA contact:  

Pierre Hébrard: tel. +41 79 439 48 51 –



 ICRC contact:  

Antonella Notari, spokesperson and head of media relations, ICRC Geneva

mobile tel. +41 79 217 32 80 –

press secretariat tel. +41 22 730 34 43