UNICEF: Learning Passport Yields Results | Cybersecurity: Interview with Cecile Aptel, Deputy Director of UNIDIR | Artificial Intelligence Act: Emotion Recognition Banned in the EU
Week in Review: Richard Gowan of the International Crisis Group on the Peace Process in Ukraine | IPU Debates Data on Women Ambassadors and Representation at the GA in NY
The Week in Review
European Parliament: Artificial Intelligence Act
Artificial Intelligence has dominated the airwaves, social media, and wherever one turns to read the news there is talk of its perils. More than before, and this is a good thing as the hype has overshadowed the real concerns for democracy, up till now.
Will we, as a society, be able to regulate it?
Will industry and regulators find common ground?
I interviewed Dr. Gianclaudio Malgieri, Associate Professor of Law at Leiden University School of Law, author of Vulnerability & Data Protection Law, Oxford University Press, to speak about the advances on the draft of the Artificial Intelligence Act, that was discussed at the European Parliament this past week.
Today’s edition brings my interviews with three UN officials, Mac Glovinsky from UNICEF in New York, and Dr. Cecile Appel, Deputy Director, UNIDIR in Geneva.
I also spoke with Maher Nasser, from the Global Communications Division at the UN Secretariat to find out more about this year’s report for the Committee on Information.
I also interviewed Julia Trustam Eve, Head of Marketing of Wines of Great Britain, the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. Scroll down.
And last but not least, I interviewed Richard Gowan, International Crisis Group, the peace and security think-tank in New York, to speak about the various calls for initiating a peace process to end the war in Ukraine, by France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and in a draft resolution to strengthen cooperation between the Council of Europe and the UN Security Council, where there was mention of finding a diplomatic solution for ending the war in Ukraine.
On Switzerland’s Presidency of the Security Council
On the draft resolution to strengthen cooperation between the Council of Europe and the UN Security Council, and ending the war in Ukraine.
Scroll all the way down.
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Presented by Microsoft
The World Needs Cybersecurity Experts
Microsoft Expands Training Programs for Women in 28 Countries
Learn more about Microsoft’s engagement with the UN here.
UNICEF and Microsoft Partnership
Interview with Mac Glovinsky, the lead on the partnership between Microsoft and UNICEF to bring formal education to children and adolescents that are forced to flee their homes. That happens because they are either internally displaced in their own countries due to civil strife, or they are refugees from post-conflict and war zones, as well as are escaping their countries after extreme weather events that destroy their cities, their homes, and schools, and cause them to interrupt their regular schooling.
The Learning Passport works in partnership with local governments to make sure that children and adolescents do not lag behind on their formal education during a period for them that is already very trying on their physical and mental health.
The programme has been deployed for children and adolescents refugees from Ukraine in Poland and other neighbouring countries from the start of the hostilities.
UNICEF uses the curriculum of country of origin developed in partnership with national governments departments of education. Since some areas have poor connectivity, no broadband access, they figured a hybrid model that allows kids to use their computers off-line too. UNICEF Learning Passport has also been focusing on the mental health of refugee teachers to help them to integrate in the host country.
Managing Peace and Security in Cyberspace
Interview with Cecile Aptel, Deputy Director, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, in Geneva. We spoke about their leadership in conferences to create a stable cyberspace and a regulatory framework, cooperating with industry, academia, and NGOs, and their (often cited during negotiations) Cyber Policy Portal, and the soon to be released Artificial Intelligence Policy Portal.
Week in Review
UN New York
UN General Assembly: Reviewing the (Dismal) Numbers of Women Ambassadors Appointed to Serve at the UN and the Way Forward
This past Wednesday 3rd May the UN General Assembly in New York reviewed the data on women’s representation in the General Assembly to consider ways in which the appointment of ambassadors to the UN could be improved to help achieve gender equality.
“Unlike parliaments around the world, where there is discussion and awareness of the need for greater representation of women, there is no concerted effort among UN member States to ensure that more women ambassadors (Permanent Representatives) sit in the General Assembly, the so-called “parliament of the world.” Likewise, there are no gender quotas or other rules on the inclusion of women in national delegations to the General Assembly.”
What they discussed:
Reviewed the data on women’s representation in the General Assembly and consider the ways in which the appointment of ambassadors to the UN could be improved to help achieve gender equality. The briefing is an important step toward a campaign for a gender equal General Assembly led by the IPU Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs.
Borrowing from the IPU’s experience of supporting more women in politics, and best practices from other relevant institutions, participants discussed the ways in which parliaments can help make the General Assembly and other multilateral bodies more gender equal.
Questions they tried to answer:
How can parliaments help ensure more women ambassadors are appointed to the General Assembly?
Can the UN impose rules on national delegations to the GA to enhance gender quality?
How can parliaments exercise stronger oversight of ambassadorial appointments to the United Nations?
Senator Andries Gryffroy, Senate of Belgium, Acting Chair of the IPU Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs
H.E. Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the United Nations, President of the Economic and Social Council
Ms. Susanna Malcorra, Founder of Global Women Leaders Voices for Change and Inclusion, former Foreign Minister of Argentina and former Chief of Staff to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
My interview with Greenland’s Minister for Gender Equality.
Innovation and Engineering Solutions for the SDGs
This is the eighth annual multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) and it seeks to facilitate an exchange between senior representatives of UN major groups and other key stakeholders, ECOSOC, and the Forum co-chairs on the topic of the impact of STI on SDGs.
The STI Forum will facilitate discussions on science, technology and innovation cooperation in support of the SDGs. In addition to providing the mandated inputs for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to be held from 10 to 19 July 2023, the Forum will also take a broader look at the contribution of STI to the achievement of all the SDGs in recognition of the September mid-term review of SDG progress.
Watch my interview with Danish Masood of UNDPPA innovation cell, and listen to my interview with Martin Waehlisch, at the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) in New York, where we discussed its first experiments creating virtual worlds to understand the Colombian peace process at the UN Security Council, how they are building the Metaverse to study conflict mediation, and what are its long-term goals and uses of immersive tech in humanitarian settings.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Committee Against Torture
The Committee Against Torture (CAT) and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is the body of 10 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its States parties.
The Committee Against Torture works to hold States accountable for human rights violations, systematically investigating reports of torture in order to stop and prevent this crime. This week they reviewed the track record of Ethiopia, at the Geneva headquarters of the Office of the High-Commissioner for Human Rights.
My interviews with Dr. Fabian Salvioli, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Truth, Justice, Reparations, and Memoralization, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Enforced Disappearances Dr. Morris Tidball-Binz.
Week Ahead (in Geneva and online)
Source: International Parliamentary Union
Transforming Parliaments: Cloud computing - choosing the best approach
08/05/2023 - Virtual
This webinar is jointly organised by the Open Data hub and IT Governance hub from the IPU Centre for Innovation in Parliament. The event is part of the IPU's Transforming Parliament webinar series.
Information seminar on the structure and functioning of the IPU
09/05/2023 - 12/05/2023 - Geneva, Switzerland
The IPU's annual seminar for parliamentary staff.
Processing high volumes of inputs from citizen engagement in parliamentary business: Case study from Brazil
16/05/2023 - Virtual
In this second seminar on processing mass data, we will consider four tools used by the Brazilian Parliament to encourage public participation and manage mass input from citizens.
Strengthening parliamentary action at COP28
25/05/2023 - Virtual
As part of the its campaign Parliaments for the Planet, the IPU is organizing a series of webinars in the lead-up to the UN climate talks at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, in December. This first seminar looks at climate science with a focus on the recent IPCC findings.
International Law Commission Meetings in Geneva
The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly, in 1947, to undertake the mandate of the Assembly, under article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations to "initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification".
The International Law Commission will hold its seventy-fourth session at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 24 April to 2 June and from 3 July to 4 August 2023 (11 weeks).
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Weekend Edition: Wines of Great Britain and King Charles III Coronation
Celebrating Coronation with Wines of Great Britain
In recent years wine production in Great Britain has grown exponentially. The reason? Global warming. (If there is a silver lining this must be it. Kidding.) But also geology (and savoir-faire), the UK soil is similar to that of the region of Champagne. Which is good soil for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the three varietals for making sparkling wine in the Methode Champagnoise. Not to be confused with the Charmat or Petnat methods.
There is also the ability by a growing number of wine producers of doing excellent vinification. As a country that has imported fine wine for centuries, we take that that is good baseline to start, the British winemaker has a well-educated palate.
On the Coronation celebrations we have word that English wines will be served.
If you visiting the UK this Summer there is a wine shop now, at Gatwick Airport, that sells English wines, and expect to see more served at the embassies, consulates, and missions around the world as well as production for export increases. Also if you fly British Airways, you can taste the sublime Hattingley Valley sparkling wines.
Wines of Great Britain, the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, pledged to undertake a project or campaign with an environmental or sustainable angle this year, which would mark the King’s Coronation year.
Check their home page.
We interviewed Julia Trustam Eve, Head of Marketing of Wines of Great Britain, a the national association for the English and Welsh wine industry, to speak about the upcoming English Wine Week in June, and the growing UK wine tourism sector, as well as the principal markets for export of English wine today.