We organised our September WebDebate, ‘The UN at 75: Evolution or revolution?’, to mark the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. By looking back at the past 75 years of the world organisation, we zoomed in on two key questions.
While the sudden global shift to an online life has brought unprecedented changes to our social and work habits, it has also faced us with certain cybersecurity risks. Could the COVID-19 crisis lead to an increasingly insecure cyberworld?
In our monthly WebDebate, which is organised in the context of the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (IFDT), we looked at Multilateral diplomacy in times of COVID-19. When we observe the responses to the COVID-19 crisis, we seem to encounter a paradox. On one hand, we have reports that shipments of masks and other key equipment are diverted from their destination countries.
COVID-19 has stirred global diplomacy in a new direction. The European Council was the first major organisation to hold a video conferencing summit, in which they discussed how to co-ordinate the European response to the current crisis. The EU has also moved to e-mail voting, and, for the first time ever, the 15 member states of the UN Security Council unanimously adopted four resolutions via email.
Violations of human rights in the context of the response to COVID-19 are increasingly making the headlines. The right to access information, right to privacy, freedom of movement and assembly, and freedom of expression are some of the basic rights that are being affected by nationwide lockdowns and emergency measures.
Digital tools havegarnered substantial interest in the context of teaching and training in diplomatic practice. Tools such as video conferences, small online courses, and massive open online courses are changing the landscape of what is possible in the field. Conversations on digital tools for teaching diplomacy are important in order to keep diplomatic teaching and training up to date, offer the best possible experience for participants, and reach those that might have been excluded previously.
The spread of the new coronavirus is testing our globalised world. Countries are looking at one another with suspicion, once bustling public spaces seem emptier, and many people and organisations are avoiding travel. The world of diplomacy is particularly affected by these developments, as meetings, conferences, and other major events are cancelled.