International normative frameworks, information communication technologies and artificial intelligence

Advances in science and technology are considered to be synonymous with the progress of our society and indeed the benefits of the advancements are plentiful. However, the potential for malicious applications of the science and technology developments poses a possible challenge to the international peace and security.

To prevent the erosion of the international stability, we should not only encourage responsible innovation by States and non-State actors but also promote responsible behavior, including the adherence to the existing norms and laws. This necessitates, first and foremost, the promotion and awareness raising of the existing normative frameworks, guiding State behavior in their use of new and emerging technologies.

In addition to further development of the existing normative frameworks, several international processes remain committed to developing new norms. To ensure inclusiveness of the processes and wide contribution to the normative developments, capacity-building is vital.

This Summer Course is offered free of charge to respond to the needs of developing countries and in particular the least developed countries, the small island developing States and countries in and emerging from conflict, in order to strengthen their capacities to tackle the challenges arising from science and technology developments.

Dates, Location, and Fees

Registration deadline: 21 August 2022

Week 1 Dates: 5 – 11 September 2022

Week 2 Dates: 12 – 18 September 2022

Location: Online

Fees: None

Objectives

The overall objective of the UNIDIR – UNITAR Summer Course in Security and Technology is to leverage both institutions’ unique set of expertise in creating innovative training programmes addressing the need for capacity development in normative frameworks surrounding emerging technologies and international security, with a specific focus on the intersection between law, information communication technologies and artificial intelligence. In addition, the trainings will contribute to a growing global network of trained leaders fully familiar with the latest developments in the field.

At the end of this Summer Course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies for international security;
  • Identify the UN processes dedicated to international AI, autonomous systems, and international ICT security;
  • Differentiate between applicable public international law, voluntary norms and principles in the cyberspace and in the use of AI;
  • Describe the intricacies of the select issues pertaining to the international law, norms and principles of responsible State behavior cyberspace;
  • Describe the intricacies of the select issues with the AI and autonomous systems in the context of international peace and security.

Content and Structure

Week 1

The first week covers Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the context of international security, and is structured as follows:

Module 1: International normative frameworks and ICT security

Part 1.1. Introduction and key concepts of cybersecurity and use of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of international security

Part 1.2. UN processes and international ICT security

Part 1.3. International law, voluntary norms and principles

Part 1.4. Challenges

e-Workshop 1 International normative frameworks and cyber stability (1.5 hours)

Module 2: Select topics of information communication technologies in the context of international security

Part 2.1. Threats

Part 2.2. Supply Chain Security

Part 2.3. Attribution

Part 2.4. Multi-stakeholder cooperation to address ICT incidents

e-Workshop 2 Select topics of information communication technologies in the context of international security (3 hours)

 

Week 2

The second week covers Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomous Systems in the context of international security, and is structured as follows:

Module 1: International normative frameworks, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems

Part 1.1. Introduction and key concepts of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems in the context of international security

Part 1.2. UN processes dedicated to AI and autonomous systems in the context of international security

Part 1.3. International law, voluntary norms and principles

Part 1.4. Challenges

e-Workshop 1 AI and autonomous systems and international normative frameworks (1.5 hours)

Module 2: Select topics of AI and autonomous systems in the context of international security

Part 2.1. Swarm Robotics

Part 2.2. Data Issues and military autonomous systems

Part 2.3. Role of AI in military decision making

Part 2.4. Predictability and understandability of military AI

e-Workshop 2 AI and Autonomous Systems – select topics (3 hours)

Final assignment

 

At the end of the first week of this Summer Course, participants who go through the interactive lessons and participate in all the e-workshops on Information Communication Technologies and do not wish to continue participating in the second week will be awarded a certificate of participation offered by UNIDIR and UNITAR.

The same principle applies to participants wishing to take part only in the activities organised in the second week. Thus, the participants who go through the interactive lessons and participate in all the e-workshops on Artificial Intelligence will receive a certificate of participation.

At the end of the Summer Course programme, participants who have successfully participated in all the interactive lessons and e-workshop of the first and second week, in addition to fulfilling the final assessment will be awarded a certificate of completion offered by UNIDIR and UNITAR. Only the participants who have attended both weeks of the Summer Course will have access to the final assessment, which culminates with the award of the certificate of completion.

Methodology

This course utilizes a modular approach, with each training component able to function as an independent activity, while together they provide a holistic training on the normative frameworks surrounding emerging technologies and international security. It promotes an interactive approach through lessons and multimedia material, stimulating critical thinking. Each module has its own learning objectives, as well as interactive online lessons, which guide participants through the contents. Contents and activities are practice-oriented and under a self-assessment approach, so participants will learn through practical examples and assignments associated with research and case scenarios. This experience will be supported by the UNITAR team, additional resources and material, and visuals such as infographics and videos.

To allow for a cross-border exchange of knowledge and to enable participants to establish a professional network, each module will culminate in a final e-workshop conducted via the platform Zoom, which will be facilitated by an expert on the theme. Together with the expert selected by UNIDIR, UNITAR will ensure that the material of the workshop will be presented in the most interactive way and assignments will be given for participants to further advance their knowledge.

Targeted Audience

Summer Course aims to raise awareness about the normative frameworks pertaining to the use of new and emerging technologies and to foster national capacities in supporting the informed participation by relevant stakeholders in all dedicated international processes.

As such, the Summer Course is aimed primarily at policy-makers and diplomats all around the world, but could be of great interest also for industry, academia and civil society as such processes are becoming increasingly open to multistakeholder engagement. In order to allow as much interaction as possible, the Summer School is designed for a maximum of 40 participants.

Priority will be given to LDCs and SIDS nationals. Please visit the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States: https://www.un.org/ohrlls/

Do you have any questions?

If you have any queries, please contact info.ilp@unitar.org.

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