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Hardy Giezendanner, IBEI Alumni 2010-11

Name and Last Name: Hardy Giezendanner

Nationality: Swiss

Master Studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations

Class: 2010–11

Current working company, position and city:   researcher at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

Linkedin: https://be.linkedin.com/in/hardy-giezendanner-87020726 

My name is Hardy Giezendanner and I studied the bilingual Masters programme in International Relations at IBEI from 2010– 2011, with a chosen pathway in peace and security studies, following an exchange year in Barcelona (2009) and a Bachelor ’s degree in International Relations at Geneva University (2007- 2010) . Upon compl etion of my studies , I undertook an academic internship with the Swiss Embassy in Buenos Aires (2012), and then interned in early 2013 as research assistant to the former director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

In mid -2013, I was offered a position as DDR/RR Assistant with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and worked until mid -2014 as Field Coordinator for the mission’s Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriati on, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDR/RR) program for Foreign Armed Groups in South Kivu Province, Eastern DRC. This very intense , often challenging, but also highly rewarding personal and professional experience with MONUSCO in one of the world’ s most c onflict - prone, yet geographically most beautiful regions , somehow pawed the way for my current position, and continues to be a daily inspiration and motivation for my work.

I came back from Itombwe Mountains in South Kivu province to the heart of multilateral disarmament diplomacy in Geneva and to UNIDIR in May 2014, where I now work as a researcher in the Institut es conventional arms programme. As a very brief introduction, UNIDIR, based at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, is an independent and autonomous institution of the UN dedicated to policy -research and analysis on international security, arms control and disarmament . Within the conventional programme, we examine this year , for example, options and models to harmonize so-called end use/r control systems at regional and/or global levels , in order to prevent the diversion of conventional arms , including small arms , to unauthorized or unintended end users. In another area of work, our programme provides design and capacity building support to States and UN missions on the full life -cycle management of weapons and ammunition in conflict, post -con flict and arms embargo settings, including through assistance tool development , in countr ies such as Somalia, Libya, Central African Republic or the DRC.

Working in a small team, my main duties and responsibilities range from concept/project development to implementation, including , i.a. , research and analysis, coordination with A short life story Hardy Giezendanner, 30/07/15 partners, organization and participation in expert meeti ngs, field missions and workshops , or preparing for the presentation of our findings to relevant stakeholders in international fora in Geneva or New York.

The Masters programme at IBEI has contributed positively in many different ways to my professional development as described above in a few words . First and foremost, i t provided me with the necessary academic and theoretical background and knowledge (e.g. the UN system, peace and security, disarmament , the role of international norms ), as well as with some of the methodologies used in my current position. I have also very fond memories of IBEI’s familiar atmosphere, the variety of courses thought by some of the most distinguished professors in their fi elds , the bilingual setting, the diverse background of fellow students , the many cheerful moments with friends over tapas, beer and wine in one of the plazas in the city, and of course my beloved, village- like neighbourhood, Gràcia . Indeed, Barcelona five years later still provides for my personal “safe haven” whenever I feel the need for relaxation or some time off from work. All this makes it for me a lasting experience that I can only recommend to anyone seeking for a future path in an int ernational professional sphere. As for my own near professional future, I envisage working the next year or two with UNIDIR, before maybe once again embarking in a different capacity to a field position and putting into practice the expertise acquired during my time at the Institute. In the meantime, I hope to be meeting some of you (again) in Barcelona or in other parts of the world soon. With kind regards to all alumni, current and future students, and the IBEI community.

Hardy 30 July 2015