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15–16 Mar 2023
Palais des Nations
Europe/Zurich timezone

Science diplomacy has emerged as an important tool in multilateral settings with science informing diplomatic deliberations and decision-making processes. Science and technology underpin several articles of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), making it crucial for the Convention to be informed of the latest developments in these areas. However, there remain gaps between scientific and diplomatic communities that should be bridged. These gaps include differences in priorities, methodologies, terminologies, timelines and the way in which scientific and diplomatic issues are communicated to non-specialist audiences.

Science diplomacy could, therefore, benefit from becoming more hands-on, contributing positively to enhance diplomats’ and policymakers' understanding of the science and policy interface. It can also play a decisive role in raising awareness within the diplomatic community about the scientific process, risks and opportunities of new advances in science and technology, and the possible impact of these developments on the Convention.

Against this background, UNODA will organize two ‘Science for Diplomats’ side events in the margins of the upcoming organizational meeting of the Working Group on the strengthening of the Convention. The side events will consist of hands-on scientific experiments and scenario exercises to communicate to policy makers about the scientific process and policy challenges due to scientific advancements. These side events are financially supported by the European Union.

Objectives:

The primary objectives of the two side events are: 

  • To communicate to diplomats how the scientific process works in interesting and fun ways.
  • To brief diplomats about anticipatory science policy and its relevance to the decision of the Ninth Review Conference to develop with a view to  establishing a science advisory mechanism.
  • To inform diplomats about the emerging areas of artificial intelligence and cyberbiosecurity and their implications for biosafety and biosecurity.
  • To raise awareness about the major benefits and risks of relevant scientific developments to the BWC via “hands-on” exercises.

Event 1

Simulating Epidemics and Anticipating Future Scientific Advances

This side event will include two activities. The first activity will involve a hands-on simulation experiment to identify gaps in biosafety or biosecurity measures that could result in a disease outbreak and discuss how the spread of infectious diseases could occur. The participants will be exposed to the basics of epidemiological studies by using simple materials and reagents, including relevant considerations on how a disease outbreak is tracked and managed.

The second activity will concentrate on anticipatory science policy by introducing the GESDA (Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator) Science Breakthrough Radar for participants to address and discuss possible future challenges and emerging S&T topics. The interactive exercise will include a case study focused on transmission of infectious diseases through a genetically modified biological vector. This activity will familiarize diplomats with some of the tools available for understanding the trends in scientific research and their possible implications and could contribute to inform discussions on the establishment of a science advisory mechanism for the BWC.   

 

Registration

https://forms.office.com/e/5ZJsptH6qm

Agenda 

13:00 – 13:15

Light lunch (will be provided)

13:15 – 13:25

 

Introduction to Activity-1

 

13:25 – 13:50

 

 Activity-1: Hands-on simulation experiment on infectious disease spread

 

13:50 – 14:00

Introduction to Activity-2

14:00 – 14:40

Activity-2: Interactive exercise on anticipatory science policy for disease outbreak

14:40 – 14:45

Participant feedback and conclusion

Event 2

Understanding the Emerging Risks involving Biological Data

 

This side event will include two activities. The first activity will involve a hands-on simulation experiment to identify gaps in biosafety or biosecurity measures that could result in a disease outbreak and discuss how the spread of infectious diseases could occur. The participants will be exposed to the basics of epidemiological studies by using simple materials and reagents, including relevant considerations on how a disease outbreak is tracked and managed.

The side event will consist of a scenario-based exercise to understand biological data and analyze risks involving advances in artificial intelligence and cyber technologies.

Registration

https://forms.office.com/e/fggQwhNcQa

 

13:00 – 13:20

Light lunch (will be provided)

13:20 – 13:40

Introduction to the scenario exercise

13:40 – 14:20

 Scenario exercise on emerging risks involving biological data

14:20 – 14:45

Participant feedback and conclusion

  

Important information on how to obtain your badge

Relocation of Pass & ID badging services from Monday, 5 September 2022 to end of May 2023

The final phase of the renovation of the Pregny Pavilion (where delegates obtain their badges) starts on 5 September 2022. To enable these extensive works, the building will be closed from Monday, 5 September 2022 until end of May 2023. Please note, however, that pedestrian exit via the turnstiles as well as vehicle access and exit via the Pregny Gate will remain operational.

During the entire renovation period, please take note of the different location to obtain access badges to the Palais des Nations:

For conference participantsmediaNGOs and members of Permanent Missions

Villa Les Feuillantines

Avenue de la Paix 13, 1211 Genève 10

Weekdays

from 8 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.

Following issuance of a badge, access to the Palais des Nations will be through the Peace Gate “bis”, a new temporary access screening point. Please refer to the following plans indicating the location of Villa Les Feuillantines and how to access the premises through the Peace Gate "bis"

Starts
Ends
Europe/Zurich
In-Person
Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
H/2-208 - H.208
Registration
Registration for this event is currently open.
Media Accreditation
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