Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Alumni Say

Portrait of Kazi Muntashir Murshed Portrait of Kazi Muntashir Murshed

29 July 2019

Kazi Muntashir Murshed, a Bangladeshi diplomat, joined the Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict in 2013 while working at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. He completed the programme in 2016 following the defence of his thesis entitled ‘Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: A Legal Perspective’.

After having worked as First Secretary in the Embassy of Bangladesh in Bangkok where he notably dealt with migration issues in the India Ocean and having opened a Bangladesh Assistant High Commission in Guwahati, Assam, India, Kazi currently works as Director for the Africa Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

WHAT DID THE EXECUTIVE MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL LAW IN ARMED CONFLICT BRING TO YOUR CAREER?

The Executive Master helped me to assess issues related to humanitarian affairs, disarmament and human rights from a legal perspective, which is very important for any diplomat.

Now, as Director for the Africa Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, I am comfortable to explain different protracted conflicts in Africa as I acquired at the Geneva Academy the necessary legal tools to analyse these conflicts.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING COURSE FOR YOU?

The course on the law of non-international armed conflicts and other contested issues was one of the most challenging courses for me. As I did not have a legal background, it was initially difficult for me to grasp with the issues addressed in class, but eventually, Professor Robert Kolb made it very simple. Professor Kolb has this unique style of teaching, which was essential for a student like me who did not have a legal background.

YOUR BEST MEMORIES OF THE PROGRAMME?

The programme was highly interactive, allowing students to take part in the debates, express ideas and opinions that helped each other to form ideas, sharing knowledge and experiences. As most of my classmates were either diplomats or working for international organizations, it was like a UN setting inside the Geneva Academy. Walking through the woods inside the Geneva Academy campus and sometimes sitting on the grass carpets overseeing Lake Leman is something I will always treasure.

DID YOU APPRECIATE THE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES?

Yes, indeed. The multicultural background of the students was instrumental to know different cultures and how country perspectives shape ideas. The prestigious Geneva Academy alumni network will always remain valuable for us.

Apart from the students, the faculty members were also very accessible. As my thesis supervisor, Professor Kolb has been always helpful and I firmly believe that his recommendations were key to secure a place in the Master of Science in Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science that I will start in September 2019.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT?

I would wholeheartedly recommend the Executive Master to everyone having an interest in international law, human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL). Coming from Bangladesh, a Least Developed Country and without any prior degree in law, I was searching for a programme I could pursue without interrupting my work.

The Executive Master was the right programme for a young diplomat like me who could pursue a prestigious master programme while working. If anyone has the zeal for understanding IHL in true sense in the centre of Geneva, the Geneva Academy is the one.

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