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The Maastricht Diplomat

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A Reflective Sunday Summary on Diplomacy, Global Crises, and the Media Landscape

It is the 19th of November, and another week has gone by which means that it’s time for a Sunday Summary.

On Friday, I visited three embassies in Den Haag as part of a study trip organized by the UNSA external relations team. The diplomats that talked to us were lovely, and on the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the two concepts stuck in my mind: staying connected to the whole world and communication being the biggest power we have.

In today’s world of mass media and communication, the infinite sea of information can oftentimes be overwhelming. This is how ideas of “news/activism fatigue” originate, with people explaining how exhausted they are from the depressing news. While it is true that most of us can prevent this fatigue by taking some time off, it must be noted that the ability to disconnect from the world and take a break from activism is an immense privilege that most people do not have. People affected by horrific events cannot sit back and be silent in order to choose to speak out when it suits them the most.

The war between Israel and Hamas is ongoing, with thousands of Gazans killed and Israel continuously bombing hospitals where Gazans have taken shelter. While Israel has big journalist corporations on its side to inform the world of their viewpoint, Gazans are relying on a team of young journalists risking their lives, most notably Bisan (25), Motaz Azaiza (24) and Plestia Alaqad (22). The only power the people still living in Gaza have at this point is sharing information, hence it is essential to listen to and amplify their voices.

Simultaneously, the Democratic Republic of Congo is still experiencing a humanitarian crisis with little to no media coverage. Conflicts have been fueled by competition over natural resources, such as cobalt. Up to this day, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries with the highest rate of displaced people, currently being around 7 million. The Miners, often also children, work under slavery-like conditions with no protection from the toxic cobalt dust, and UNICEF has reported that there has been an increase of 41% in “the number of verified grave violations against children”.

Lastly, a Colorado judge found that former President Donald Trump committed insurrection on January 6th, 2021, however, ruled not to remove him from the state’s 2024 ballot for the Republican presidential primary. Similar lawsuits have also failed in the states Minnesota, New Hampshire and Michigan.

To end, I would like to remind you that if you are feeling overwhelmed by the news, go for a walk, and clear your head. But I urge you not to allow yourself to disconnect from the world too long – stay active, informed, and critical.

That was it for this week’s Sunday Summary! I hope you have a good start to next week.


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