Putting People First in AI – High Level Presentation of the OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

Pic of AI presentation


This meeting of the Slovak Republic/OECD: Putting People First in AI was convened to discuss OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence. Representatives from around the world gathered to discuss how we should act in this digital era.
First, H.E. Mr. Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen said that OECD has launched an AI policy that provides an online hub for open dialogue that implements AI principles. It is opened to any interested countries beyond OECD members. H.E. Darja Bavda Kuret, an Ambassador of Slovenia, said that digitalization like the Internet of Things, machine learning and AI transforms our economy. However, there is a huge gap since some people do not even have any access to the internet while big companies utilize AI. She asked, “How are we going to investigate that no one is behind?” Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe from Zambia asked, “How do we handle the inequality of social opportunities?”
Consequently, Knudsen answered the questions by saying that it is through accountability and transparency. He further questioned, “Who owns the data of this world? Is it an individual or the state or the party?” He said that it is a huge problem and we need a harmonization. Not only that, we need to care about AI and climate change. It is impossible to reduce CO2 without science, technology, and innovation. We should utilize AI to protect humanity from climate change.
Moreover, a representative from Canada said consumer protection is important. We need public education and should be responsible for innovation. We also need government funding for this. A representative from Columbia said that the government should commit this 4th industrial revolution. We should reduce inequality in this digital economy, and we should include trust and security.
Robert from UNDP said that development is redefined by technology. How to democratize technology such as big data, blockchain and IoT is important. We need a new business model that is more accessible to any income level. He emphasized that data is so important that the system gets more efficient with more data. Also, Steven from UNICEF said there should be human-centered AI. Nudsen concluded that the ethical issue is so important. Transparency is about consumers; consumers should know what they are consuming with a computer. Also, we need to share the data to become successful.

Meeting Title: Slovak Republic/OECD: Putting People First in AI

Date/Location: Thursday, 7 November, 2019; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room 12; United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY


H.E. Darja Bavda Kuret, Ambassador of Slovenia;

H.E. Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe, Permanent Representative of Zambia to the UN;

H.E. Mr. Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary General, OECD;

A Representative from Canada;

A Representative from Columbia;

Robert from UNDP;

Steven from UNICEF

Written by: WIT Representative, Won Ah Oh

Commission on the Status of Women – OECD Development Centre Side Event

csw-logoMs. Northover stressed the importance of addressing the social norms of males and females, focusing on eradicating female genital mutilation and discussed the difference between male and female violence. She further stated that gender equality is essential to SDGs focused on eradicating poverty. Ms. Nordstrom presented evidence of gender discrimination through statistics in order to show where it exists. This information is necessary in the effort to improve the lives of women.

It is difficult to change social norms–no country is free from discrimination. Indeed, while some nations have excellent constitutions that promote equality, customary laws and norms may actually prevent the implementation of those laws. Gender equality is a prerequisite for a transformative agenda that empowers women and men and allows people to contribute to their societies. Today’s speakers affirmed that there should be a world in which all people are free from violence, benefit from public services (education and health), have sexual and reproductive rights, economic and ownership rights, access to assets, and paid employment.

Ms. Nowacka discussed gender gaps in employment, education, and mortality rates. More specifically, she examined laws that discriminate against women, the prevalence of early marriage, and the effectiveness of legal implementation. Customary laws negate progressive gender equality codes in many countries. Gender equality, she said, requires constant vigilance and investment. Ms. Nowacka focused on the effect of early marriage on female education, employment, and income and addressed the need to invest in human capital. Mr. Crownover introduced a program that educates adolescent males on gender equality. Ms. Chandra highlighted the weak practice of gender equality laws, saying that women are viewed as a burden (especially through the dowry practice), which has led to increasing cases of missing girls. People do not want to invest in their daughters. Stronger measures need to be taken within the government to ensure laws are followed.

Meeting: OECD Development Centre side event to 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Jointly held with the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finalnd: Achieving Beijing: The Role of Social Norms for Gender Equality
Date & Location: 11 March 2015, Conference Room 7, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Moderator Baroness Lyndsay Northover, Department for International Development (DFID), UK, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development; Nina Nordstrom, Director, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Helsinki; Keiko Nowacka, OECD Development Centre, Gender Programme Coordinator; John Crownover, Care International, Programme Advisor and Gender and Youth Development Expert; Shailaja Chandra, Former Chief Secretary of Delhi
Written by WIT Representative: Ellie Guner
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Monitoring Care of Older Persons – A Human Rights Perspective

The world is aging fast; more than 20% of the population will be aged over 65 by 2050. The demand for care is increasing, and older people need to receive care that respects their human rights. Mr. Hallergard introduced the newly funded project by the European Union, called ‘’Human rights of older persons in long-term care”, which will be carried out by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI). Ms. Jurczak highlighted the major role of the European Union in coordinating social protection and enhancing the rights of citizens. So far, the EU has worked on the quality of care, and prevention of elder abuse and neglect. They have funded some “pilot projects” on raising awareness, and have published a report with OECD called “A good life in old age?”

a-good-life-in-old-age_9789264194564-enLong-term care is vital. As of now, the costs of care are 1.6% of GDP of OECD countries. The goal is to double this figure by 2050. Furthermore, governments have the responsibility to protect vulnerable older people from potential abuse. Ms. Mahler introduced the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), which are state funded institutions. Many NHRIs in Europe work to promote and protect older persons’ human rights. The project with the EU aims at embedding human rights standards and approaches in the care of older persons by increasing human rights protection for older persons, raising awareness, development of practical tools, and spreading best practices for supporting and monitoring older person care. Several areas will be taken into account, including relationship with home care, rights of care staff, impact of the economic crisis, diversity of older persons, and the Convention on the rights of older persons. Furthermore, human rights impact assessments will be carried out to monitor and evaluate the project. A human rights approach requires empowerment and accountability.


Meeting Title: “Monitoring care of older persons from a human rights perspective”
Speakers: Carl Hallergard, Minister Counsellor , Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations; Kasia Jurczak, Policy Analyst, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; Claudia Mahler, German Institute for Human Rights/European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI); Commissioner Kazi Hoque, National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, Asia Pacific Forum
Location: Conference Room A, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Date: 31 July 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited By: Marli Kasdan

Promoting Resource Efficiency for Sustainable Development

A meeting of the United Nations Centre of Regional Development (UNCRD) experts was held to discuss integrated regional development planning, which provides an effective tool for sustainable development. The purpose of the meeting was to revisit the concept of regional development and raise international understanding around the tools it can provide to help developing countries address the new challenges of the 21st century.

H. E Mr Noriyo Mitsuya highlighted five key aspects of integrated regional development planning: (i) Transport and land use planning; (ii) Waste management; (iii) 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and resource efficiency; (iv) Human security; and (v) Disaster risk management. He emphasised disaster risk management as a crucial aspect that should be prioritised in order to achieve sustainable development of the economy.In this light, the government of Japan strives to cooperate in the construction of better infrastructure and development of technology to facilitate disaster risk reduction.

3RMs Ndey-Isatou Njie drew attention to theclarification of the approach taken in regional development. The regions are set according to issue-areas, which thereby integrate planning, vision making and policy-design. Sustainable cities are at the core of regional development as they provide a platform for job creation, health facilities, educational institutions and other forums for public participation. She referred to the Toyota smart city approach in Japan to illustrate the significance of sustainable cities.

Mr Hiroshi Imanaga delivered a presentation on the city of Kitakyusgu. Kitakyusgu has been described as one of the cities with the lowest rates of municipal waste production in OECD countries, as per the OECD report. He underscored that the first step towards this achievement was to initiate partnerships with local multi-stakeholders, including businesses and educational institutions.

H.E Mr Shinji Inoue emphasised the progress towards sound-material society, which focuses on the efficient use of natural resources with proper cyclical use of products. It is essential to set indicators and evaluate our progress towards a sound-material society. Cooperation on 3R and waste management policies will facilitate this process in line with the economic growth and population increase worldwide that has led to an increase in global waste generation. Establishing multi-layer partnerships in bilateral cooperation at the local, national and international levels will contributetoimproving this situation.


Meeting Title: Promoting resource efficiency for Sustainable Development
Speakers: H. E Mr. Noriyo Mitsuya, Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan; Ms. Ndey-Isatou Njie, Chief of Water, Energy and Strategies Branch, DSD/UNDESA;Dr. Elly Sinaga, Director General of Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia; Mr. Toshihko Ohta, Mayor of Toyota City; Mr. Hiroshi Imanaga, Deputy Mayor of Toyota City.
Date: July 7th, 2014.
Location: Conference Room C, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan