18-22 July 2022, New York, U.S.A. – In partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office hosted the third annual Women in Cyber training programme attended by a group of 24 women, coming from different regions around the world. The event was sponsored by the Governments of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the U.K., and consisted of eight sessions held between the 18th and 22nd of July 2022, which focused on Drafting Resolutions, Cyber Policy, Leadership and United Nations Negotiations. Since the pandemic, this was the first Women in Cyber training programme held in-person.
During the Opening Session Mr. Marco A. Suazo, the head of UNITAR office in New York, delivered welcoming remarks to the participants and introduced Ms. Briony Daley Whitworth, the Director of Cyber Affairs Branch at the DFAT of Australia. The keynote remarks examined the hyper connectivity that we are currently experiencing through achieved advances in cyberspace, and the impending threats that come with such connectivity.
Following the opening session, Ms. Jimena Leiva Roesch, the Director of Global Initiatives at the International Peace Institute, hosted the first session UN 101. Throughout this interactive session, Ms. Leiva Roesch presented an introduction to the United Nations system and discussed the International Civil Service.
The day was concluded by a second session that was an informal TED Talk moderated by Ms. Sindy Nur Fitri, Secretary II at the Indonesia Mission with Ms. Gabriela Gonzalez, DPR at the Uruguay Mission; Ms. Eva Nthoki, Counsellor II at the Kenya Mission; Ms. Kim van der Sluis, Senior Policy Officer at the Netherlands Mission; Ms. Ruxandra Stanciu, Counsellor at the Romania Mission. This informal and interactive session, the panelists shared their experiences as women working in Cyber at the UN and offered their advice when Fellows shared their concerns or posed questions regarding the multilateral arena. To conclude the first day of the programme, the Fellows had a private tour of the United Nations Headquarters with Mr. Suazo.
Ms. Leiva Roesch returned on the Day Two to host a day-long session on Multilateral Negotiations at the UN. This workshop consisted of 3 simulation exercises to prepare the diplomats for negotiations at the UN and provided an opportunity to practice and receive feedback to strengthen their leadership skills. In addition, this workshop prepared the Fellows, as women, for the hurdles that may come their way during UN negotiations and how to best overcome them.
Day Three trained the delegates on how to draft UN resolutions, starting with H.E. Mr. Suazo introducing Mr. Wannes Lint, Intergovernmental Officer of DGACM. Mr. Lint outlined what the Agenda of the General Assembly meant and entailed and guided the participants how items make it into the GA Agenda, how to request for inclusion of a new item, as well as the process behind the consideration for said inclusion.
Ms. Tomoko Iwata, Senior Legal Affairs Officer at the Office of Legal Affairs, followed Mr. Lint, detailing the UN procedures and voting. She went over how quorums affect the process, how amendments and revisions are implemented, and the functioning of procedural motions. Ms. Sharon Bernardeth Juárez Argueta, from the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations, went on to detail the step-by-step process of finding co-sponsors, working through defining objectives, priorities, and options, as well as the varying processes based on the specificities of the resolution.
The final panelist of the morning was Ms. Anne-Laure Michallet from the English Translation and Editorial Service in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, who centered her lecture on the editing of proposals. Mr. Wannes lead the afternoon group exercise for the fellows where they followed an outline of the submission process and created three mock resolution recreating the process delegates go through on their day to day.
Conference Room 8 hosted the morning session of the fourth day of the training programme, where the Fellows attended the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) Chair Intersessional Consultation session lead by the Chair of the OEWG, H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor. Focused on security and the use of information and communications technologies in 2021-2025 through an informal dialogue of the third substantive session of the OEWG, this session was held in a hybrid format with participants tuning in from all of the globe.
Following the morning session, Ms. Michele Lee Clarke-Ceres Co-Founder ‑ World Ceres Inc., Executive Career Coach/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant, lead the afternoon session back in Conference Room E, coaching the fellows on Leadership and how to be present as a woman working in tech. By addressing this reality, Ms. Michele Lee Clarke-Ceres identified tactics to encourage gender equality in the field and encouraged the Fellows to make themselves stand out in the workplace.
Day four concluded with a cocktail reception hosted by the Canadian Mission, where Fellows, donor countries, and organizers were invited to hear closing remarks and witness the certificate deliverance to the Fellows.
July 22, the final day of the training programme, started at 8:30am in the Singapore Mission, where the Fellows were hosted by Ambassador Gafoor, Chair of the OEWG, for a breakfast. After their informal encounter, the Fellows made their way back to the UNHQ for a Meet and Greet with H.R. Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, to share each other’s opportunities and challenges in cyber space, moderated by Ms. Whitworth. The moderation continued to the seventh session, a Cyber Policy Workshop with Ms. Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador at-Large for Security Policy and Cyber to discuss how the Fellows are preparing for the following week’s OEWG.
That afternoon, the last session hosted by the Center of Strategic and International Studies to understand the current and future issues of the UN discussion on cybersecurity. CSIS Rountable was paneled by Mr. James A. Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director of the Technology and Public Policy Program; Ms. Eugenia Lostri, Associate Fellow at the Strategic Technologies Program at CSISl Ms. Megan Roberts, Director of Policy Planning at the UN Foundation, and Mr. Pavel Mraz, Senior Project Manager of Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft. The training concluded after 5 days of successful sessions and equipped the participants with the necessary skills for their negotiations, during the third substantiative session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of ICTs in the Context of International Security (OEWG) from 25-29 July 2022.