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The Future of Multilateral Peacebuilding
A Conversation with U.N. Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo

In an era of rapid technological change and fraying traditional alliances, the international order that has overseen one of the most peaceful periods in human history is facing unprecedented challenges. While member states grapple with the utility and relevance of the United Nations in the 21st century, global fragility, conflict, and violence continue to escalate—exacting an enormous human toll. The imperative for collective global action to resolve the world’s most intractable conflicts has never been greater.

In light of these trends, it’s critical that the community of actors committed to global peace and security take stock of the successes, challenges, and innovations in multilateral conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding. 

Join USIP, The Stimson Center, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area for a timely discussion on the future of the multilateral system and the potential for practical, innovative reform with U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, the highest-ranking American currently serving at the United Nations and the first woman to hold the position. As a precursor to the U.N.’s 75th anniversary in 2020, this event will consider how the U.N. has modernized its conflict prevention and management resources to address the changing nature of conflict; how reforms of the U.N.’s political and peacebuilding architecture have improved its effectiveness, as well as what steps are still needed; and what practical actions U.S. and international policymakers can take to support more durable multilateral peacebuilding efforts.

Where: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register here!

Speakers

9:30am – 10:00am: Refreshments

10:00am – 10:10am: Welcome Remarks and Introduction by The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

10:10am – 10:30am: Keynote Address by  Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations

10:30am – 11:50am: Facilitated Panel Discussion with Undersecretary-General DiCarlo, featuring:
  • Ambassador George Moose (moderator), Vice Chairman of the Board, U.S. Institute of Peace; Advisory Council Member, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area
  • Ms. Victoria Holt, Vice President, Stimson Center
  • The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, moderator, President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Ms. Uzra Zeya, President & CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding
    • Ambassador Lynn Pascoe, Board Member, UNA-NCA; Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Politial Affairs

    11:50am – 12:00pm: Closing Remarks
    Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo
    • Undersecretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations

      Register here!
       
  •  
    UN at 75: Past. Present. Progress Building The Future We Want

    UN75-UNA-Logo_clause_blue_copy

    In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

    The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area 
    invites you to 
     
    Featuring Keynote Remarks by
    UNDP_Ulrika_Modeer_Bio

    Ms. Ulrika Modéer
    Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy 
    United Nations Development Program

    Expert discussions with

    Dr. Robert Orr
    Dean of the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
    Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change

     
    Presentation of the 2020 UNA-NCA Edison Dick Advocacy Award

    The Honorable Barbara Lee
    Congresswoman for the 13th District of California

     
    Attendees with have the opportunity to engage in UN75 Consultation Report Breakout Sessions on the following topics:

    • Global Health
    • Peace & Security
    • Gender Equity
    • Human Rights
    • Sustainable Development
    • International Law
     
    When: Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 4:30-6:30 pm
    Where: Zoom
    Cost: Free, but registration is required
     
    Registration is Now Closed
     

    Please consider supporting UNA-NCA programs. Donate here or become a sponsor.

    Sponsors:

    Diplomatic Leader
    Judith Edstrom
    Stephen F. Moseley

    Diplomatic Partner
    airschott1
    Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Ret.)
    A. Edward Elmendorf


    Diplomatic Supporter
    Tim Barner and Kathy Guthrie 
    Jill Christianson
    Larry Cooley and Marina Fening
    Billie Ann Day
    Edison W. Dick, Esq.
    Ambassador Keith Harper (Ret.)
    Ritu Sharma 
    Richard Seifman 

    Diplomatic Friend
    wBLHtkmb
    Kristen Hecht 
    Lori Kaplan
    Ellen McGovern
    Loyce Pace



     
    Delta Phi Epsilon Annual Symposium
    Join the Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Affairs Council for its inaugural Symposium, a day-long conference on international politics, security, and trade. This year’s theme, “Assessing Shifts in the International Order” will explore the impact of revisionist powers, non-state actors, and technology on global and domestic affairs alike. Panel and debate topics include the future of American global leadership; cryptocurrency in the international financial system; the future of international institutions; and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

    Where: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

    When: April 6, 2018

    Cost: Varies. Registration required.

    Learn More and Register Here
     
    International Data Sharing and Artificial Intelligence Cooperation in Global Public Health Emergencies: A Virtual Roundtable
    Report produced by the UNA-NCA Peace and Security Committee

    Events presented on: Wednesdays, August 19, September 2, and September 16, 2020

    The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) along with its Peace and Security Committee hosted a series of panel discussions, entitled “International Data Sharing and Artificial Intelligence Cooperation in Global Public Health Emergencies: A Virtual Roundtable.”  The events took place virtually and welcomed panelists and participants from all around the world, including the Kingdom of Spain, France, Malta, the People's Republic of China and New Zealand.  All three panels were moderated by Mr. Patrick Realiza, Co-Chair of the UNA-NCA Peace & Security Committee The program provided a platform for discussion among global health experts, government officials, data scientists, researchers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning practitioners and privacy advocates. The panelists all shared their perspectives on pressing issues related to Big Data and AI in the COVID era, including transnational data collaboration and data privacy.

    Panel 1 - Opportunities and Challenges to International Data Cooperation in the COVID Era

    The first panel discussion, entitled, “Opportunities and Challenges to International Data Cooperation in the COVID Era”, featured Mr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and Dr. Ellie Graeden, who is the Founder and CEO of Talus Analytics and has studied the role of Big Data in global infection disease prevention. 

    As moderator Mr. Realiza began the program by asking Mr. Lee-Makiyama and Dr. Graeden to define the concepts of Big Data and AI and to describe their impact on global affairs. Mr. Lee-Makiyama explained that Big Data and AI is something that we all have come in contact with in our day-to-day lives, or have already heard much about, whether it is cloud-based services such as Alexa, drones, or maybe even automated vehicles. Mr. Lee-Makiyama further explained that AI has witnessed increasing relevance on the global front, with Europe at the forefront of AI regulation. Dr. Graeden discussed how algorithms used by AI can help assist decision-makers. She explained that the core of AI involves deciphering statistics at scale and applying traditional techniques to large data sets in order to make sense of them.

    Mr. Realiza then asked the panelists to discuss how governments use Big Data in addressing global pandemic needs. Dr. Graeden discussed how data has been collected globally, is shared across borders, and allows her team to understand global health conditions within multiple disciplines such as medicine, health systems, policies and economics. 

    Mr. Realiza then moved onto another compelling question: How do governments place restrictions on cross border transfers of data? Mr. Lee-Makiyama delved into the consequences of digital protectionism and explained that it prevents market access and can also create market fragmentation. According to him, national governments have used creative ways to stop trade for the “public’s interest.” Mr. Lee-Makiyama also discussed how COVID-19 has amplified many problems that already existed in regards to digital sovereignty and highlighted the importance of uniform standards across data. 

    Other questions that were addressed during this webinar included: What is the impact of cloud computing on international data sharing? What role can small enterprises play in COVID-19 data collection? And do international norms exist for data sharing? Both speakers brought very insightful discussions to the panel, resulting in an enlightening and thorough understanding of the questions at hand. 

    Panel 2 - Data Sharing, AI Cooperation and the Transnational Response to COVID-19

    The second panel was dedicated to the issue of transnational collaboration among researchers to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel featured Dr. Pascal Fung, Professor at the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) and Dr. Miguel Luengo-Oroz, Chief Data Scientist at United Nations Global Pulse in New York City.

    Dr. Luengo-Oroz opened the program by reminding the audience how AI can help combat global pandemics on three different levels. On a molecular scale, AI can help scientists identify promising coronavirus vaccine candidates. On a local scale, AI can also track outcomes for different types of patients and help hospitals decide how many intensive care unit (ICU) beds to deploy. On a societal scale, AI can also measure the efficacy of public health policies and track misinformation about the pandemic.

    Professor Fung explained how Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools allowed her and other researchers to create a platform that extracts and summarizes relevant information from around 70,000 publications on the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared her optimism about the engine and emphasized that several UN member states are already using the publicly available platform to better combat the pandemic. Professor Fung echoed Dr. Luengo-Oroz’s concern about the spread of misinformation and stated that she would like to broaden the platform to analyze data beyond scientific publications. 

    Mr. Realiza then asked Dr. Luengo-Oroz to describe the role of the UN Global Pulse in facilitating international data cooperation. Dr. Luengo-Oroz explained that the initiative supports all UN Agencies and emerged as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis. In his view, both the current pandemic and the financial crisis emphasize the need for international cooperation in a fast-changing world. The UN Global Pulse works towards that goal by collaborating with, and providing high-quality data to, all UN agencies. 

    Both panelists also highlighted how ethical challenges are integral to the use of AI in public health research. Dr. Luengo-Oroz emphasized that the data sets used to train AI are sometimes drawn from specific categories of individuals and may also introduce algorithmic bias due to their lack of appropriate representation. Professor Fung expressed a “great concern” regarding the Chinese contact-tracing system’s combined use of personal data and geolocation.

    In closing, Mr. Realiza synthesized some themes and highlights from the rich presentations and conversations. Mr. Realiza encouraged all attendees present at the virtual event to help take on the shared work. 

    Panel 3 - Protecting and Advancing Data Privacy as We Battle Global Pandemics

    The final panel was dedicated to the issue of health data privacy and featured four leading figures in the field of data privacy: Mr. Joseph Cannataci, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy; Mr. John Edwards, New Zealand Privacy Commissioner and member of the Global Privacy Assembly Executive Committee; Ms. Sophie Kwasny, Head of the Council of Europe’s Data Protection Unit; and Ms. Katitza Rodriguez, International Rights Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

    Mr. Realiza began the program by asking Mr. Cannataci to discuss his mandate as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. Mr. Cannataci explained that his role was created in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s revelations, but that he eventually created an international task force to develop guidelines on health data. The Rapporteur indicated that he had presented a series of recommendations to the UN Assembly last year and is expected to publish a report in the spring of 2021. The report will discuss data privacy in the COVID-19 era. 

    Mr. Edwards described New Zealand’s contact-tracing application as a “digital diary” and emphasized the importance of evaluating the impact of contact-tracing applications scientifically. The Commissioner discussed the tradeoffs between manual contact tracing, New Zealand’s Quick Response (QR) code system, and Bluetooth handshakes enabled by Google and Apple’s application programming interfaces (APIs). Mr. Edwards concluded his initial intervention by stating that he was “pleased” with New Zealand’s “conservative approach” to contact-tracing.

    Mr. Realiza then asked Ms. Kwasny to explain the role of the Council of Europe’s Data Protection Unit. Ms. Kwasny pointed out that the Council of Europe is a pan-European international organization that shares the European Union’s commitment to human rights. Unlike the European Union, the Council of Europe includes countries such as Russia and Turkey and is not based on the principle of political integration. She explained that Convention 108, and its modernized version Convention 108+, offer international standards for data protection. Ms. Kwasny also stated that Convention 108+ is an instrument of “global relevance” that it is open to ratification beyond European countries. At a national level, it helps national governments reaffirm their attachment to data protection. On a global scale, Convention 108+ establishes standards that could help facilitate better digital data flows and create a space of “trust and reciprocity.”

    As International Rights Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ms. Rodriguez argued that all COVID-19 related technologies should provide sufficient safeguards and should be governed by the principles of necessity, legitimacy and proportionality. Ms. Rodriguez also stated that the use of contact-tracing applications should always be voluntary and argued that location tracing is not sufficiently granular to protect data privacy. Highly aggregated data on the other hand, may provide greater data privacy protections than anonymized or de-identified data. Ms. Rodriguez also explained the main differences between centralized and decentralized contact-tracing systems and ultimately argued that decentralized systems provide greater data privacy protections because they do not share personally identifiable data with government officials. 

    All panelists agreed on the need for continued cooperation among data privacy experts, advocates and regulators. In her final remarks, Ms. Kwasny noted that the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg ruled that the data transfer agreement “Privacy Shield” failed to adequately protect European citizens’ data and pointed out that a certain level of protection “has to be afforded to allow [global] data flows.” She expressed her confidence about the future of data privacy and invited all UN member states to consider adopting Convention 108+ as the new international data protection standard.  

    In conclusion, the virtual roundtable series collectively convened close to 100 attendees from around the globe and highlighted the importance of data sharing in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. As noted by the majority of the panelists, the challenges brought forth by the current pandemic are not entirely new to the global stage, but institutions at the local, national and international levels must strive to work more collaboratively than ever before to effectively address the impact of technologies such as AI and cloud computing. Furthermore it is important to keep in mind the necessary integrity that should be put into practice when it comes to health data privacy. There is no one size solution to this crisis and may never be one, but collaboration is still possible if countries are willing to share their respective ideas and best practices with one another. In the end, this series shed greater awareness of the continuing challenges to data security, but also gave participants hope and the chance to see the benefits of a more globalized and data driven world which could very well just be on the horizon following the conclusion of the pandemic.

     
    Coffee Chat with UNDP, IFAD, Bread for the City and more!



    UNA-NCA Coffee Chat: Food Insecurity & SDG 1: No Poverty


    Join us on Thursday, July 16 from 1:00-2:00pm for our collaboration with leading experts in sustainable development. 
     
     
    UNA-NCA will be joined by leadership from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Bread for the City, and more. 


    We'll explore the scope of stakeholder work related to food security and poverty alleviation while offering critical insights into the impact of COVID-19 on poverty and development. 


    Featuring: 

    George Jones
    Chief Executive Officer, Bread for the City

    Yesim Oruc
    Deputy Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

    Rafael Tapia Jr. 
    Vice President of Programs, Partnership with Native Americans (PWNA)

    Joanna Veltri
    Chief, Americas Liaison Office at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
     

    Register hereStay tuned for updates about our speakers and partner organizations.

     
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    Enjoying our Coffee Chat series? You can find highlights from our latest sessions below.
     


     
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