Some 28 participants from 25 countries around the world attended and successfully completed the Introduction to Digital Policy and Diplomacy course, running from 25 March to 15 May 2019, in New York. This was the second session of this interactive blended learning course offered by the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and DiploFoundation in co-operation with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York.
The continuing controversy around Huawei; the Christchurch call aiming to eliminate online violent extremism; and facial recognition technology raising alarms were among the main digital policy trends in May 2019.
Legend has it that in the 13th century Dominican friar Albertus Magnus built an artificial ‘brazen head’ that could talk and answer any question asked. According to story, his student, philosopher Thomas Aquinas, eventually smashed the head for ‘talking too much’. Centuries after this medieval escapade, artificial intelligence (AI) ventured into the world of science fiction, Hollywood movies, and eventually, computer science where it positioned itself front and centre.
Upcoming elections trigger fresh misinformation concerns; new data breaches lead to more pressure on companies; and an increased focus on digital health were among the main digital policy trends in April 2019.
UNCTAD eCommerce Week took place from 1-5 April in Geneva, focusing on the theme ‘From Digitalization to Development’. Discussions emphasised the need to break down silos among different groups of actors and to foster collaboration in order for e-commerce to effectively contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Geneva Internet Platform and DiploFoundation provided just-in-time reporting from most e-commerce week sessions.
Old concerns and new policy initiatives in the field of cybersecurity, Internet platforms on the radar again, and a renewed focus on the Internet economy were among the main digital policy developments in March 2019.
In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved the creation of two distinct groups to further explore issues related to responsible state behaviour in cyberspace: an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and a new Group of Governmental Experts (GGE). The two groups were proposed in resolutions put forward by Russia and the USA, respectively. What are their mandates, and what can we expect from these groups?
In this blog post, I want to respond to some of the questions that were raised during our recent WebDebate on humanising immigration. This is crucial for keeping the discussion going and doing justice to all the valuable questions and comments we received.
Our March WebDebate explored conflicting narratives on immigration and delved into the challenges and opportunities of intercultural relations in the context of diplomatic practice. We were joined by Ms Ifigenia Georgiadou (Hellenic Culture Centre, Greece), Dr Atef Ahmed (Freelancer Educational Consultant, Egypt), and Dr Biljana Scott (Senior Fellow, DiploFoundation). The WebDebate was moderated by Dr Katharina Höne (DiploFoundation).