Where global solutions are shaped for you | Disarmament | 3. Global South Biosecurity Networks

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3. Global South Biosecurity Networks



This project aims to provide capacity-development opportunities for young scientists and academicians from the Global South engaged in fields related to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The project will build upon successful initiatives such as UNODA's Scholarship for Peace and expand upon them. This project will encourage the development of young professionals' networks and capitalise on training material developed by the European Union, such as e-learning tools developed by the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium.

Two biosecurity workshops will be organised in Geneva to bring together young scientists from the Global South to expose them to the concept of multilateral disarmament negotiations and enabling their engagement with diplomats and high-level experts in the field. Particular emphasis will be placed on encouraging the participation of young women from the Global South.


BIOSECURITY DIPLOMACY WORKSHOP FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH
2nd Edition, 2020 – 2021



The Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) are delighted to open the call for applications to the 2020 – 2021 Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop for Young Scientists from the Global South. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this 2nd Edition will mainly be held virtually between end November 2020 and mid-2021. The workshop will be financed under the auspices of European Union Council Decision 2019/97/CFSP in support of the BWC, managed and implemented by UNODA.

A world free of biological weapons cannot be attained without youth and women voices being included in multilateral BWC dialogue. As fast-paced innovation in biotechnologies raises global implications for biosecurity, the young scientists of today will be on the forefront of tomorrow’s collective and innovative global solutions. This vision was stated explicitly in the UN Secretary-General’s Disarmament Agenda “Securing Our Common Future”, in which youth and women’s participation feature as pre-conditions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) related to disarmament and non-proliferation.

The workshop will bring together a second cohort of up to 20 early career and talented scientists from diverse countries in the Global South engaged on topics related to the BWC. Participants will be selected based on their professional backgrounds and accomplishments. Young female scientists from the Global South are particularly encouraged to apply.

The workshop will provide a platform for young scientists from the Global South to share their knowledge and ideas about biosecurity issues at the local level and ways to strengthen it. It will encourage the emergence of a community of peers nurturing each other and help the development of networks for capacity development in biosafety and biosecurity.

The workshop will also expose participants to the multilateral biosecurity scene, at the crossroads between science and diplomacy, and increase their knowledge of current challenges in the light of scientific and technological advances. They will engage with experts on topics such as science diplomacy, science advice in the context of the BWC, dual-use research of concern, responsible and ethical science and innovation, global health security and other science and technology topics of relevance to the BWC. Opportunities for networking will also be provided.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Component 1: Virtual Workshop (End November – December 2020) – The participants will meet each other, hear presentations from experts and be offered opportunities to share and exchange their experience and expectations.

Component 2: Meeting of Experts (3-4 December) – The participants will attend online the BWC Meeting of Experts on science and technology (MX2) and gain valuable insight into the impact of science and technology developments on the BWC. Virtual face-to-face sessions will allow participants to reflect, brainstorm and share ideas at the end of MX2 through individual and group activities.

Component 3: Virtual or in-person workshop and role-play (TBD 2021) - The participants will meet with experts and take part in a role-play challenging their capacity to shape solutions collectively while using their knowledge on the BWC and related issues.

The three components of the workshops will be supported by intersessional work and group activities. Further details of the events will be communicated to selected participants.

PARTICIPANTS

The workshop is open to those who:
  1. have an advanced degree in the life sciences or a related discipline from a recognized university or institution;
  2. are citizens of a low- or middle-income BWC State Party (for a full list of BWC States Parties, click here);
  3. have been working in the life sciences (academia, research, or industry) for at least five years;
  4. are active scientists under the age of 40; and
  5. have a strong command of written and spoken English, as the workshop will be fully conducted in English.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The selection process will be guided by the need to ensure the highest quality of participants while maintaining a gender and regional balance.

HOW TO APPLY

The deadline to receive applications is 8 November 2020.

Applications will be carefully screened by an expert panel on the basis of the criteria specified above.

Applicants should submit the required documentation electronically to bwc@un.org. The required documentation includes the following:

  1. curriculum vitae (maximum five pages);
  2. one-page description of your motivation to participate in the workshop (in font Times New Roman, size 12, single space paragraphs);
  3. letter of recommendation from a senior member of your institution that addresses your qualifications and attests to the relevance of the workshop to the work of the institution; and
  4. digital image of the personal identification page of your passport.

Incomplete or improperly filled-out application forms will not be considered. Applications without full supporting documentation will not be accepted.



BIOSECURITY WORKSHOP "ENGAGING YOUNG SCIENTISTS FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH IN BIOSECURITY DIPLOMACY"

The first biosecurity workshop "Engaging Young Scientists from the Global South in Biosecurity Diplomacy" was held on 3-4 August 2019 in Vevey, Switzerland. The workshop took place following the conclusion of the BWC Meeting of Experts on science and technology (MX2), which took place in Geneva on 31 July and 2 August 2019. This allowed participants to attend the meeting and gain a broader awareness of the BWC. Workshop participants were able to engage directly with diplomats and high-level experts in the life sciences as well during their stay in Geneva. More details about the workshop can be found on the concept note.



More than 20 young and talented scientists from the Global South working on BWC-related topics participated in the workshop. They were selected on the basis of their professional backgrounds and accomplishments. The full list of participants to the workshop can be accessed here. In addition, the participants profiles are available below.

A story published by UNODA on the workshop is available on the global UNODA website. The programme of the workshop and presentations delivered during the workshop are available in the outline below the participants list.

PARTICIPANTS


Participants
Experts/Speakers/
Facilitators
Participants/Observers
Giovanna PONTES (Brazil)

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Nancy CONNELL

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Magdalena WIESNER
(Colombia)

National Health Institute of Colombia

Nigus Abebe SHUMUYE (Ethiopia)

College of Veterinary Medicine/Mekelle University

Franklin CARRERO-MARTINEZ

United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Bernard Owusu AGYARE (Ghana)

Ghana Armed Forces Medical Services

Hazem HADDAD (Jordan)

Princess Haya Biotechnology Center

Ana IZAR

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

Sholpan BAKHTYBEKKYZY (Kazakhstan)

Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases

Yekaterina OSTAPCHUK (Kazakhstan)

National Center for Biotechnology

Daniel FEAKES

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

Lay Ching CHAI (Malaysia)

University of Malaya

Kadiatou DAO

(Mali)

National Institute of Public Health Research of Mali

Anja KASPERSEN

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

Luis Alberto OCHOA CARRERA (Mexico)

Ministry of Health

Carlos Arturo BARBA OSTRIA (Mexico)

Yachay Tech University, Ecuador

Marketa HOMOLKOVA

European Union Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva

Imane BELKOURATI (Morocco)

Veterinary Laboratory for Research and Veterinary Vaccine Production

Samreen SARWAR (Pakistan)

University of Health Sciences of Lahore

Pedro Luiz DALCERO

Permanent Mission of Brazil to Conference on Disarmament

Muhammad QASIM (Pakistan)

National University of Medical Sciences of Rawalpindi

Gachon University, South Korea

Rohani CENA (Philippines)

National Institutes of Health/University of the Philippines

Christy NOMURA

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

Anastasia TRATARIS-REBISZ
(South Africa)

National Institute for Communicable Diseases

Olivia LENTSOANE
(South Africa)

Department of Medical Virology of the University of Pretoria

Lizeka TANDWA

University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Geoffrey OTIM (Uganda)

Uganda Virus Research Institute

Founder and Coordinator of SynBio Africa

Doreen BIRUNGI (Uganda)

Scientific Researcher
College of Veterinary Medicine,
Animal Resources and Biosecurity
Makerere University

Clarissa RIOS

Founder and Director

Ekpapalek and Ekpapalek Women

Stephanie NORLOCK (Observer)

International Federation of Biosafety Associations

Proscovia NALUYIMA (Uganda)

Walter Reed Project/Makerere University

Cody ANDERSON

Public Health Agency of Canada

Janis SCHLEUSNER (Observer)

iGEM Foundation




BIOSECURITY WORKSHOP
“Engaging Young Scientists from the Global South
in Biosecurity Diplomacy”
3-4 August 2019

PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES
1 August 2019
From
To
Activity
18:30
20:00
Welcome Reception

Hotel N’vY

Rue de Richemont 18, Geneva

2 August 2019
From
To
Activity
9:00
10:00
SIDE EVENTS

“Recent scientific findings in the sphere of biosecurity”

Room XXII, Russian Federation

“Qualitative Frameworks to Assess Risks and Benefits of Advances in Science and Technology: Opportunities for the BWC”

Room XI

InterAcademy Partnership and US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine

10:00
13:00
Plenary Session

Meeting of Experts on review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

Room XX, Palais des Nations | 14 Avenue de la Paix, Geneva

13:00
15:00
SIDE EVENTS:

“Monitoring scientific and technological developments – new approaches to the BTWC”

Room XXIII, Germany and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

“Going viral? Deliberately releasing GM viruses into the environment”

Room XXII, Max Planck Society

15:00
18:00
Plenary Session

Meeting of Experts on review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

Room XX, Palais des Nations | 14 Avenue de la Paix, Geneva

18:30
19:45
Departure from Palais des Nations to workshop venue

DINNER UPON ARRIVAL

3 August 2019

GLOBAL SOUTH BIOSECURITY DIPLOMACY WORKSHOP

From
To
Topic
Speakers
9:00
9:30
Opening Remarks
Anja KASPERSEN

Director

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

Geneva Branch

Marketa HOMOLKOVA

Policy Officer

Disarmament Section

European Union Delegation to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva

Daniel FEAKES

Chief

Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit

UNODA

9:30
10:00
Tour de Table
FACILITATOR

Ana IZAR

Political Affairs/Project Officer

UNODA

10:00
10:30
Group Photo and Coffee Break
10:30
11:00
Introduction to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC): A brief overview
Daniel FEAKES

Chief

Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit

11:00
11:30
2018 science and technology discussions on the BWC: an overview across regions
Ana IZAR

UNODA

11:30
12:30
Breakout Group Brainstorming on BWC Articles: strengths of the Convention, challenges for the future; biosecurity awareness
Nancy CONNELL

Senior Scholar

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

12:30
14:00
LUNCH
14:00
15:00
Breakout Group presentations on brainstorming session

(15-minute presentations per group)

Nancy CONNELL
15:00
16:00
Brief remarks on the implications of science and technology on the BWC: a diplomatic perspective
Pedro Luiz DALCERO

Minister Counsellor

Permanent Mission of Brazil to the Conference on Disarmament

16:00
16:15
Coffee Break
16:15
17:30
New technologies and how they relate to the BWC: positive use and potential for misuse
Clarissa RIOS

Founder and Director

Ekpapalek and Ekpapalek Women

Lizeka TANDWA

Associate Lecturer

Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

University of the Witwatersrand

17:35
18:30
At a glance: biosecurity and young scientists at work
18:30
20:00
DINNER
4 August 2019

GLOBAL SOUTH BIOSECURITY WORKSHOP

9:00
9:45
Risk and benefit analysis: high-risk research and its implications for the BWC
9:45
10:00
Introduction to case scenario
FACILITATOR

Franklin CARRERO-MARTINEZ

Director

Global Policy and Development & Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS)

The United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

10:00
10:30
Case scenario preparation + Coffee Break
10:30
11:45
Case scenario implementation/role play
11:45
12:00
Analysis, debriefing and conclusions
FACILITATOR

Franklin CARRERO-MARTINEZ

12:00
12:30
Opportunities for networking, training, capacity-building and next steps
Cody ANDERSON

Office of Biosafety Programs and Planning

Centre for Biosecurity

Public Health Agency of Canada

Stephanie NORLOCK

Program Officer

International Federation of Biosafety Associations

12:30
12:45
Closing Remarks
Ana IZAR

Nancy CONNELL

Franklin CARRERO-MARTINEZ

12:45
14:00
LUNCH
14:30
15:45
Return to Geneva