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Digital policy in 2019: A mid-year review

The first six months of this year were dominated by the tech rivalry between the USA and China, and the Huawei controversy. This came amid growing concerns over the spread of misinformation and other harmful content, new data breaches, and the continuing growth of tech companies. Digital policy continues to mirror societal developments, including fast-shifting geopolitics, and unremitting uncertainties. Technological innovation is creating new possibilities. Artificial intelligence developments are moving at a fast pace, and the applications of blockchain are increasing. Solutions for an improved digital architecture – which maximise the benefits of technology and minimise its harm – are in sight.

What were the main trends in digital policy in the first six months, and how are they expected to impact developments in the next six months?

Join us in Geneva, on Tuesday, 2nd July, from 12:30 to 14:00 CEST, for a timely review of digital policy developments, as we look back to look ahead. Register to attend this event.

[WebDebate] Technology and diplomacy: Unpacking the relationship

The next WebDebate in our series will take place on Tuesday, 2nd July, at 11:00 UTC (13:00 CEST). Technology impacts diplomacy and the way it is practised in a number of ways. The rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and 5G networks make it clear that technology also has geopolitical, security, human rights, and economic implications. Diplomatic relations between countries can be heavily affected, if not strained, by this and diplomatic skills are needed now more than ever to address these issues in a meaningful way. Register to attend this event.

Human rights and digital technologies: New insights

Digital technologies continue to transform almost every facet of our lives. Innovations are shaping our democracies through their impact on political participation and electoral processes, reshaping access to education, re-framing employment and notions of the workplace, revolutionising healthcare, stimulating communities within civil society, galvanising greater activism, and fostering new opportunities for economic development.

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the United Nations Special Procedures, and the Geneva Internet Platform (as part of its Geneva Digital Talks) are co-organising a panel discussion on 3 July 2019 to generate debate and draw attention to current challenges in the digital sphere. It also seeks to foster interest in developing effective strategies and methodologies that may serve to address future issues stemming from digitalisation and advancements in technology and determine how best we can oversee the implementation of digital technologies so that they continue to realise their best possible contribution to the full enjoyment of human rights.

Find out more about the event.

Reporting from the UN Human Rights Council - 41st session

The 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is being held from 24 June to 12 July 2019, at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. The GIP Digital Watch Observatory is providing reports from sessions related to digital policy.

Science and technology diplomacy summer school

DiploFoundation is taking part in the Science and technology diplomacy summer school which runs 1-5 July. The summer school is organised by SciTech DiploHub, the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, and the Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Diplo’s Dr Katharina Höne will be speaking on big data and artificial intelligence and their impact on diplomatic practice, drawing on Diplo’s reports on Data Diplomacy: Updating diplomacy to the big data era and Mapping AI challenges and opportunities for the conduct of diplomacy. Find out more on about the event.

Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge

Ambassador Kishan Rana, Diplo Senior Fellow and Senior Lecturer, has made his memoir Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge available as an e-book via our website. He recounts his experiences and lessons learnt in his 35-year foreign service career and 20 years of teaching - from learning Chinese in Hong Kong to a 13-month experience with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s staff, the reform in the Ministry of External Affairs, and a final assignment as ambassador to Germany.
Download your free copy.

Upcoming study opportunities

Applications open for the 2020 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

Diplo is now accepting applications for the 2020 Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy, and the Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy with a specialisation in Internet Governance. These unique postgraduate programmes, offered in co-operation with the University of Malta, include a 10-day residential workshop in Malta followed by 16–20 months of online learning. Visit the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy webpage to read more. Scholarships covering 20%–50% of the Postgraduate Diploma fee are available for applicants from small and developing states. The programme starts on 3 February 2020. The application deadline is 15 October 2019.
 

Summer diplomacy courses - places still available

Is summer a quiet time at your office? Then it is the perfect opportunity to take an online course. Have a look at our courses on diplomacy and Internet technology starting on 22 July:

Apply now for Diplo certificate courses.  For further information or to apply, click on the titles of the courses listed, or visit our courses webpage
 

Diploma in Humanitarian Diplomacy

We are now accepting applications for the next session of the online diploma course Humanitarian Diplomacy offered in co-operation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This highly interactive 13-week course, led by Ambassador Christopher Lamb and a team of experienced practitioners, extends the knowledge base and develops the practical skills of current and future practitioners in humanitarian diplomacy and policy. The course familiarises participants with basic definitions, concepts, actors, and institutions in the field of humanitarian diplomacy; introduces international humanitarian law; hones advocacy and negotiation skills; develops participants’ research skills; and increases their understanding of national and regional humanitarian diplomacy activities.
 The course is offered in English; however, participants have the option to write and submit major course assignments and the final research paper in French or Spanish.
 The next session starts on 16 September 2019 and the application deadline is 5 August 2019. Please visit the course webpage to read more and apply.
 

Malta scholarships

Thanks to support from the government of Malta, partial scholarships are available for applicants from developing countries to attend upcoming Diplo online courses. These scholarships cover 30%–60% of course fees and can be applied to most online courses in 2019. Browse our course catalogue and contact us at admissions@diplomacy.edu for further information. You can also sign up for our courses mailing list to be informed about upcoming courses.


EuroDIG 2019

The 12th annual meeting of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) took place on 19-20 June 2019 in The Hague, Netherlands.

A team of GIP Digital Watch rapporteurs prepared session messages and over 30 reports from the meeting. Read the session reports from the meeting.

Science and diplomacy: How countries interact with the Boston innovation ecosystem

The report Science & Diplomacy: How countries interact with the Boston innovation ecosystem looks at how diplomatic representations use their science and technology arms to conduct activities in the Boston ecosystem. The report was written by DiploFoundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with the objective of surveying the existing science and technology diplomatic scene in Boston, assessing its current modes of interaction, and inspiring other countries to become active in this field.

The report is available for download here.

Unpacking the High-Level Panel’s report on digital cooperation: Geneva policy experts propose action plan

Earlier this week, the digital policy community in Geneva gathered to discuss ways of implementing the final report of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, The Age of Digital Interdependence.

More than 80 participants from international organisations, diplomatic missions, academia, business, and civil society, contributed with concrete action points that could potentially see the report materialise in the months to come. The ‘Contributions from Geneva’ come one week after the report was officially launched in Geneva on 17 June. Read more here.

What's been happening in Diplo's blogosphere

Diplo’s February courses session marked by high completion rates takes a look at an overall completion rate of 95% for five interactive online accredited courses which cover a multitude of subjects related to diplomacy, Internet governance, capacity development, and digital policy. In Boston science diplomacy report maps another tech and innovation hub Pavlina Ittelson discusses the report, 'Science & Diplomacy: How countries interact with the Boston innovation ecosystem'.

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