Tulia Gattone is a MAIR student in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
This summer, myself and ten other Maxwell students moved to Switzerland for the Geneva Summer Practicum. It has been an incredible life-changing experience. I will definitely recommend this Global Program to any future generation of students.
As part of the Practicum, I interned at the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. The ISU is the Secretariat to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. The Unit is mandated to provide support and advice to the State Parties to the Convention. It also communicates and provides information about the Convention status, keeps records of formal and informal meeting and liaises with other international organizations.
Working with the ISU is a truly enriching opportunity. I had the pleasure and honor to meet an incredible amount of representatives of State parties, international organizations and NGOs. Also, I attended international conferences on disarmament and carried out research in the field of mine action.
In addition to the internship, the Practicum comprises a series of lectures taught by Professor Schleiffer, whose experience and knowledge is truly inspiring. The class is highly debate-based and is constantly enriched by presentations of speakers of the highest caliber. This year we even had a lecture at the Geneva Town Hall in the world famous Alabama room where in 1872 an arbitration tribunal posed with a peaceful agreement an end to a conflict between the United States of America and Great Britain.
Work and school apart, Geneva is incredibly beautiful and it is a city that has so much to offer. I was sincerely amazed by the story, the culture and the high sense of respect of the Swiss people. In addition to the cheese and chocolate of the finest quality, Switzerland’s welcoming attitude will make leaving hard for everyone.
For more information about the ISU, check the following links: