All About AI with Gary Marcus | WTO Ministerial Conference Ends | Meet UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Dr. Stephen Jackson | UN Ocean Decade Progress Report | Brazil and Biotech
What is the UN Resident Coordinator's Office? What is the UN Development Assistance Framework? How does one measure success? To answer these and other questions we interviewed Dr. Jackson, RC in Kenya
Listen to the recording of our Twitter Spaces with @GaryMarcus, Dr. Marielza Oliveira @MarielzaTalks from @UNESCO, @luislamb Visiting Fellow @MIT, Brazil Deputy Consul in San Francisco @EgarciaVirtual, @kerstingAIML and @sinanaral
This Wednesday 22 June, at 8 PM CET, join us for a conversation with Dr. Gary Marcus, NYU Professor Emeritus, and author of Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust.
The event will be moderated by Dr. Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring, Communications and Information Sector, with special guests Dr. Luis Lamb, Visiting Fellow at MIT, and the Deputy Consul-General at the Brazilian Consulate General in San Francisco, H.E. Dr. Eugenio Vargas Garcia, Brazil’s first appointed Tech Diplomat, in charge of relations with Silicon Valley technology companies.
The panelists are:
Dr. Gary Marcus is a scientist, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. He is Founder and CEO of Robust.AI, and was Founder and CEO of Geometric Intelligence, a machine learning company acquired by Uber in 2016. He is the author of five books, including The Algebraic Mind, Kluge, The Birth of the Mind, and The New York Times best seller Guitar Zero, as well as editor of The Future of the Brain and The Norton Psychology Reader.
Twitter handle @GaryMarcus
He has published extensively in fields ranging from human and animal behavior to neuroscience, genetics, linguistics, evolutionary psychology and artificial intelligence, often in leading journals such as Science and Nature, and is perhaps the youngest Professor Emeritus at NYU. His newest book, co-authored with Ernest Davis, Rebooting AI: Building Machines We Can Trust aims to shake up the field of artificial intelligence.
Dr. Marielza Oliveira is UNESCO’s Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring, Communications and Information Sector. From 2015 to 2020, she was Director of UNESCO Beijing.
Previously, she was the Global Results Manager (data scientist) for UNDP, where she also held positions as country manager for a portfolio of Latin American countries (2001-2015).
Dr. Oliveira holds a Master of Science in Finance (1990) and a Ph.D. in Business Administration (1995) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Twitter handle @MarielzaTalks
H.E. Dr. Eugenio V. Garcia is Deputy Consul General and Head of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Consulate General of Brazil in San Francisco, USA.
He is the first Tech Diplomat appointed by Brazil, and in this capacity he is the focal point for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area innovation ecosystem. He was the Brazilian expert in the 2021 intergovernmental negotiations on UNESCO's Recommendation on the Ethics of AI., and a former senior adviser to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, New York (2018-2020), and was Chargé d’affaires a.i. in the Brazilian Embassy in Conakry, Republic of Guinea (2020-2021).
His current areas of academic research include artificial intelligence, the impact of new technologies in peace and security, and the role of multilateral organizations in global governance.
Twitter handle @EgarciaVirtual
Dr. Luis Lamb, Visiting Fellow MIT, Full Professor at UFRGS (RS), Brazil, and Former Rio Grande do Sul's State Secretary of Science and Technology
Dr. Luis Lamb is Professor of Foundations of Computer Science and AI, and former Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (01/2019-01/2022), and Vice President of Research (2016-2018) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
He was Dean (Director) of the Institute of Informatics (2011-2016), ex officio (2011-2016) and Elected Member (2010-2012; 2018-2022) of the University Council at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He has also been Deputy Dean of the Institute of Informatics at UFRGS. He holds both the Ph.D. in Computing Science from Imperial College London (2000) and the Diploma of the Imperial College (D.I.C.), MSc by research (1995) and BSc in Computer Science (1992) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
He is an Editorial Board Member of the Cognitive Technologies Book Series (SpringerNature), and he is on the editorial board of the Logic Journal of the IGPL (Oxford) and the Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society (Springer).
Dr. Lamb holds an Advanced Research Fellowship (2021-2025) from the Brazilian National Research Council CNPq.
Twitter handle @luislamb
Scroll down for our past coverage of AI and its applications on multilateral settings.
Interview with Dr. Stephen Jackson, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya
What is the UN Resident Coordinator's Office? What is the UN Development Assistance Framework? How does one measure success? To answer these and other questions we interviewed Dr. Jackson, Resident Coordinator, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nairobi is home to the third largest UN office. All UN agencies and bodies of the UN System have an office there, from where they coordinate and deploy their humanitarian services and development programs throughout the continent.
What is the remit of the Resident Coordinator’s Office?
Source: UN website
The Resident Coordinator’s Office supports the work of the UN Resident Coordinator and coordinates activities of the UN Country Team in its engagement with the Government as defined by the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
Kenya is currently implementing UNDAF 2018 – 2022, which is the medium-term results framework that describes the response of the UN system to national development priorities. UNDAF describes how the UN country team will contribute to the achievement of development results based on a common country analysis and the UN comparative advantage.
The Resident Coordinator is leading and strategically positioning the United Nations country team in Kenya to respond to the current national priorities, mainly to Kenya’s Vision 2030, Medium-Term Plan III and the Big Four Agenda. The Office has five core functions:
Partnerships and development finance
Data and results management and reporting
Communications and advocacy
UN Resident Coordinator Appointment
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Stephen Jackson of Ireland as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya, with the host Government’s approval from 1 March 2021.
Mr. Jackson brings close to 30 years of experience in international development, peacebuilding and humanitarian affairs to the position, including more than 10 years in Sub-Saharan Africa.
At the United Nations, he most recently served as Resident Coordinator in Gabon, after holding leadership positions at the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and with United Nations Peacekeeping.
In DPA, he served as Chief of Policy Planning and Guidance, headed the Secretariat to the High-Level Review of United Nations Peacebuilding in 2015, worked as Team Leader of the Mediation Support Unit, was Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), led the Policy Planning Unit as well as the Africa Great Lakes Team, and worked as Special Adviser to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes.
With Peacekeeping, he served as a Senior Political Adviser with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).
Prior to joining the Organization, Mr. Jackson was the Deputy Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York and served as the Director of the International Famine Centre and a Lecturer in Sociology at the National University of Ireland in Cork after working in humanitarian relief and development in Angola, Rwanda and Somalia.
He holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University, USA, as well as a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
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UN Ocean Decade Progress Report 2021-2022
Source: UNESCO website
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – the Ocean Decade – is a framework to identify, generate and use critical ocean knowledge that is needed to manage the ocean sustainably, and achieve global aspirations for climate, biodiversity, and human well-being.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) leads the coordination of the Ocean Decade, in collaboration with numerous partners from the United Nations system, governments, philanthropy, industry, civil society and the scientific community.
Check their latest report here.
WTO: It is a Wrap
But Many Were Not Happy
The 12th Ministerial Conference ended with many wins and a watered down TRIPS Waiver. The NGOs were vociferous, the agreed text has not really addressed the health crisis and to many, the private sector, i.e., the powerful Big Pharma lobby, won. For all the talk about the common good and the people, trade and prosperity for all, India and South Africa were let down.
Watch the closing remarks of WTO DG and the MC12 Chair on Friday at 5AM.
The fisheries negotiations saw the light of the day, with positive developments and a funding mechanism to help fisheries in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing Nations transition.
Harmful subsidies that result in overfishing and other violations of international agreements to protect the environment were somehow halted, at least on paper.
Now to the implementation, as the Chair of the negotiations Ambassador Santiago Wills said.
Brazil: Research and Innovation in Biotech
Interview with the Deputy Consul-General at the Consulate of Brazil in Los Angeles, Daniel Roberto Pinto
Brazil has started to enhance cooperation in the biomedical research areas. Interview with the Deputy Consul-General in Los Angeles, Daniel Roberto Pinto, to find out what is planned for the coming months, and the focus areas for his jurisdiction.