7 December 2023, New York, USA – UNITAR-NYO and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched the Women in Cyber Fellowship: Strengthening Capacity Building and Technical Skills for the Open-Ended Working Group. The fellowship brought together women working professionally in a multitude of disciplines that have to do with Cyber issues. Attendees heard from fellow professionals on their experiences navigating international development roles in cyber as women and received comprehensive training on negotiations, capacity building, and international law. The two-day event prepared fellows for the Open-Ended Working Group which was set to take place the following week.
On the first day, fellows were greeted by H.E. Ms Carolyn Schwalger, Permanent Representative of New Zealand, and Mr. Pelayo Alvarez, Office Manager of UNITAR-NYO, who spoke on behalf of H.E. Mr. Marco A. Suazo, for the opening remarks. Fellows then heard from a panel of Women in Leadership, which included H.E. Ms Mathu Joyini, PR of South Africa, H.E. Mrs Ruchira Kamboj, PR of India, H.E. Ms Carolyn Schwalger, PR of New Zealand, H.E. Ms Lachezara Stoeva, PR of Bulgaria, H.E. Ms Maritza Chan Valverde, PR of Costa Rica. The panel of Permanent Representatives took time to share personal stories of their hard work, sacrifices, and most importantly, their accomplishments in the sphere of multilateral diplomacy.
The rest of the day’s agenda included a session on Systems Thinking in Cybersecurity by Dr Zhanna Malekos Smith, a networking luncheon, which gave fellows an opportunity to converse and connect more informally with each other and the distinguished panellists, and finally, a session on Multilateral Negotiations by Ms. Katherine Prizeman.
Day Two began with a session on Drafting National Statements delivered by Dr Mariam Shaikh and Ms Iseult McNulty. After a short break, fellows then heard from Ms. Michele Lee Clarke-Ceres on Mastering Public Speaking, a critically important skill in diplomacy and negotiations. After lunch, Mr. Gilberto Duarte presented on International Law on Cybercrime Cooperation, followed by Ms. Yasmine Idrissi Azzouzi who spoke on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Cybersecurity.
H.E. Mr. Marco A. Suazo was in attendance to give closing remarks on yet another successful Women In Cyber Fellowship. He commented on the continually important role women play in all aspects of multilateralism and congratulated fellows on completing the program. He then gave the floor to the principal organizer from UNITAR-NYO, Ms. Olga Kurilina to give final remarks and wish fellows luck on the upcoming Open-Ended Working Group.