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The Maastricht Diplomat

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Last Sunday Summary of 2022/23

Hello everyone and welcome to the Maastricht Diplomat last Sunday Summary of this academic year. While some of us are already in the summer spirit, others are yet finalising their thesis or studying for their last exams, and it is with this summer mood that I wanted to bring to you some global news of the week.


We are already in the middle of June, and we all know what June is all about. It is PRIDE this month, a month filled with parades, celebrations and support for the rights of the LGTBQIA+ community. The history of PRIDE dates back to June 28, 1969, with the Stonewall Riots which was part of the larger gay rights movement of the time. The riots then led to the first commemoration march in New York the following year, which is considered the first ever pride parade. Now, all around the US, Europe and the world, the month of June is filled with marches and celebrations. PRIDE itself stands for the promotion and uplifting of dignity, equality and visibility of all people with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.


Within this human rights movement, this week we celebrate Iceland legally banning Conversion Therapy. The bill, which officially passed on June 9, ruled that anyone found to be practising conversion therapy to an adult or child could be sentenced to up to three or five years in prison respectively. Although Iceland is a latecomer to its European partners, such as Germany, Spain and France, which had already banned conversion therapy, the legislation did make headlines thanks to the strong cross-party support shown by the Icelandic parliament.


And now let us move on to some other news. The alarming and ever so worrying recent climate events can make us shiver even in this summer spirit. Nonetheless, we can highlight some important movements that have been taking place. In particular, the Right of Nature movement has been gaining a great momentum in recent times. This is a legal and conservation model which has been trying to give a “voice” to nature as an attempt to combat climate change and ecosystem destruction. The campaign involves granting legal rights to nature, which then gives governments, courts and citizens the duty to protect the surrounding environment.


The growing Rights of Nature movement has recently seen local organisers in Illinois and Iowa marching to push for the Mississippi River to be granted legal rights. The idea is that the river ecosystem should be given a level of personhood as a way to find a legal basis to protect it. Similarly, a group of students in Panama have successfully pushed for a law that protects local sea turtles and gives them legal rights to live. In turn, this gives the citizens rights and duties to protect and be accountable to this endangered species.

This is all for this week's Sunday Summary, thank you everyone for joining in. I hope that you have enjoyed this little snippet of global news.



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