Women and Girls in Science: Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development

Girls in Science

In commemoration of the third international day of Women and Girls in Science, organizations in the United Nations held a forum regarding equality and parity in science for peace and development.

The forum began with testimonies from girls who had faced gender-specific hardships. Many speakers alluded to historical female figures that encouraged them to persevere against suppression. Two men also spoke, sharing stories of interactions with females in school and work, complimenting them for their intellect and uniqueness.

Mr. Seth introduced the second half of the forum, claiming that more important than the awareness was the identification of specific solutions to the gender-based issues that women are facing. Mr. Seth also stated that science offers great potential for the completion of the SDGs, but will offer even more potential with the inclusion of women.

Ms. Luo alluded to her homeland, Zambia, and the factors that inhibit women from securing an education, including: child marriages, socialization, stereotyping and colonial curriculum. Ms. Luo called for less talk and more action, as well as bringing this movement on an international scale.

Mr. Le Feuvre presented a brief overview of research that WIPO conducted to highlight the gender status of women in STEM. The data demonstrated an increase of international women patent applications, while only 30% of international patents are shared with women. The data also compared shared patents with women between specific fields of technology, pinpointing pharmaceutics to be the highest and construction engineering to be the lowest.

Several other women spoke regarding gender disparity, including a female researcher at Mount Sinai who was robbed of her research by a male supervisor and struggled to retrieve it—an example of what female scientists endure. 

Meeting: Forum on —”Women and Girls in Science: Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development

Date/Location: Thursday, February 8, 2018; 10:00-13:00; ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of UNITAR; Nkandu Luo, Minister of Higher Education of Zambia; Bruno Le Freuvre, WIPO Statistical Analyst

Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens

The Fight against Impunity for Atrocities: Bringing Da’esh to Justice




The crucial nature of holding the members of Da’esh accountable for their crimes, for victims to attain justice, was explored at today’s high-level meeting. A call to action was evident to collect and preserve evidence of their atrocities.

Simon Adams expressed how in 2005 all the states within United Nations made a commitment toward their responsibility to protect vulnerable populations from mass atrocity crimes. Matthew Rycroft conveyed that thousands of corpses, each a victim of Da’esh, were found last week in a sinkhole near Mosul, Iraq.

Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim disclosed how Da’esh used to cover forty percent of Iraqi territory, but as a result of the progress of the military and coalition partners, it now covers very few kilometers. He conveyed how 5,000 lawsuits have been filed against members of Da’esh in Iraq.

sdgs_poster_new1Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve described how the primary victims of Da’esh include the Yazidi people, Christians, and other minorities.

Mr. Michael Douglas Grant brought into conversation how members of the LGBTI community are targeted by Da’esh. In addition, he described a new initiative that has allowed over 400 Yazidi victims into Canada. Likewise, Mr. Juergen Schutz introduced into the discussion a residence program that has allowed over 1,100 Yazidis into Germany.

Ms. Nadia Murad gave a testimony regarding her experience as a Yazidi Genocide survivor. She implored the Iraqi government and the United Nations to establish an investigation to prosecute ISIS under international law. She conveyed how she had spoken at the United Nations fifteen months before, yet not one ISIS militant had faced charges under an international investigation. Ms. Amal Clooney, the legal representative of Ms. Murad, asked that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadion of Iraq sends a letter to the Security Council to have an investigation a behalf of all victims.

Meeting: High-level event on “The Fight against Impunity for Atrocities: Bringing Da’esh to Justice” (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Canada, Germany, Iraq and the United Kingdom and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect)

Date/ Location: Thursday, March 9, 2017; 15:00-17:00; Trusteeship Council Chamber

Speakers: Simon Adams, Executive Director of Global Center of Responsibility to Protect; Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom; H.E. Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium; H.E. Mr. Michael Douglas Grant, Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada; H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Permanent Representative of Iraq; H.E. Mr. Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom; H.E. Mr. Juergen Schutz, Permanent Representative of German; H.E. Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict; Ms. Nadia Murad, Yazidi Genocide Survivor, Human Rights Activist and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking; Ms. Amal Clooney, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and Legal Representative for Nadia Murad and Other Yazidi survivors

Written By: WIT Representative Donna Sunny

Peace and Development in the Post 2015 Development Agenda

An event was hosted to launch the 2014 Global Peace Index (GPI). Mr. Hanif said that peace has an intrinsic value and it is the best thing that one can give to a society. He said that the 2014 GPI highlights that the cost of violence each year is $1350 per person. Michelle Breslauer echoed Mr. Hanif’s comments. She said that the global cost of violence in 2013 was around 9.8 trillion USD. She explained that the goals of the GPI are to measure peace through understanding the current state of peace, key drivers of peace and conflict, and economic factors.

The Index has three focus areas: domestic and international conflicts, measures of societal safety and security, and measures of militarization. She emphasized that “peace is more than the absence of war.” It is defined as the “absence of violence,” she said. According to the Index, Iceland maintains its status as the most peaceful state while Syria displaces Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful nation.GPI

Mr. Kell noted that more than half of the children who die prematurely and more than half of the children who don’t attend primary schools are living in countries affected by violence. While speaking of the role of the private sector, Mr. Kell said that violence is the single biggest barrier to investment because it holds back entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment. He emphasized that from a business perspective there is every reason to walk towards stability, predictability, and the rule of law to promote economic acti

Mr. Ojielo welcomed the fact that many states are developing capacities, setting up mechanisms and institutions to anticipate, understand, analyze and respond to violent conflicts when they occur. He called the GPI a “reality check.” It should be put forward as a tool for internal reflection for Nation States, he said. It should be used for analyzing the policies and systems that contribute to the escalation of conflict and taking remedial actions. Mr. Brinkman mentioned that the Open Working Group on the Post 2015 Development Agenda has been having discussions on the role of peace, and conflict in sustainable development. He said that questions about the definition of violence, regarding the universality of the issue and its measurability have been raised by delegations. Such questions, according to Mr. Brinkman, are positive developments.


Meeting Title: Peace and Development in the Post-2015: Assessing Country Risk Measures
Speakers:  Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UNDESA, New York; David Hammond, Research Fellow, Institute for Economics and Peace, Sydney; George Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, New York; Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief, policy, Planning and Application, Peacebuilding Support Office, UN, New York; Lucy Hurst, Associate Director, Americas, Custom Research, The Economist Intelligence Unit, New York; Michelle Breslauer, US Program Manager, Institute for Economics and Peace, New York; Ozonnia Ojielo, Coordinator for Conflict Prevention and Recovery, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP, New York.
Date: 20 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 1 (CB), United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Shan Cheema
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan