The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
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Week ending 28 April 2018

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

pdf version: The Sentinel_ period ending 28 April 2018.docx

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Speech by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, to the United States Congress

Governance – Leadership

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United States of America – Speech by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, to the United States Congress
Washington, 25/04/2018
Full text PDF: http://basedoc.diplomatie.gouv.fr/FranceDiplomatie/PDF/baen2018-04-26.pdf ]
[Excerpt]
…NEED FOR MULTILATERAL COOPERATION
But we must remember the warning of President Theodore Roosevelt: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, handed on for them to do the same.”

This is an urgent reminder indeed. Because now, going beyond our bilateral ties, beyond our very special relationship, Europe and the United States must face together the global challenges of this century. And we cannot take for granted our transatlantic history and bonds. At the core, our Western values themselves are at risk.

We have to succeed facing these challenges, and we cannot succeed forgetting our principles and our history.

In fact, the 21st century has brought a series of new threats and new challenges that our ancestors might not ever have imagined.

Our strongest beliefs are challenged by the rise of a yet unknown new world order. Our societies are concerned about the future of their children.

All of us gathered here in this noble Chamber, we – elected officials – all share the responsibility to demonstrate that democracy remains the best answer to the questions and doubts that arise today.

Even if the foundations of our progress are disrupted, we must stand firmly and fight to make our principles prevail.

But we bear another responsibility inherited from our collective history. Today, the international community needs to step up our game and build the 21st century world order, based on the perennial principles we established together after World War II.

The rule of law, the fundamental values on which we secured peace for 70 years are now questioned by urgent issues that require our joint action.

Together with our international allies and partners, we are facing inequalities created by globalization; threats to the planet, our common good; attacks on democracies through the rise of illiberalism; and the destabilization of our international community by new powers and criminal states.

All these risks aggrieve our citizens.

Both in the United States and in Europe we are living in a time of anger and fear, because of these current global threats.

But these feelings do not build anything. You can play with fears and anger for a time. But they do not construct anything. Anger only freezes and weakens us. And, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said during his first inaugural speech, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
Therefore, let me say we have two possible ways ahead.

We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism. This is an option. It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears.

But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse, but inflame, the fears of our citizens. We have to keep our eyes wide open to the new risks, right in front of us.

I am convinced that if we decide to open our eyes wider, we will be stronger. We will overcome the dangers. We will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity.

It is a critical moment. If we do not act with urgency as a global community, I am convinced that the international institutions, including the United Nations and NATO, will no longer be able to exercise their mandate and stabilizing influence. We would then inevitably and severely undermine the liberal order we built after World War II.

Other powers, with a stronger strategy and ambition, will then fill the void we would leave empty. Other powers will not hesitate one second to advocate their own model, to shape the 21st century world order.

Personally, if you ask me, I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom, and the illusion of nationalism.

Therefore, distinguished members of Congress, let us push them aside, write our own history and birth the future we want.

We have to shape our common answers to the global threats that we are facing.

The only option then is to strengthen our cooperation. We can build the 21st century world order, based on a new breed of multilateralism. Based on a more effective, accountable, and results-oriented multilateralism. A strong multilateralism.

This requires more than ever the United States’ involvement, as your role was decisive for creating and safeguarding today’s free world. The United States invented this multilateralism. You are the one now who has to help to preserve and reinvent it.

This strong multilateralism will not outshine our national cultures and national identities. It is exactly the other way around. A strong multilateralism will allow our cultures and identities to be respected, to be protected and to flourish freely together.

Why? Because precisely our own culture is based, on both sides of the Atlantic, on this unique taste for freedom, on this unique attachment to liberty and peace. This strong multilateralism is the unique option compatible with our nations, our cultures, our identities.

With the US President, with the support of every 535 members of this joint session, representing the whole American nation, we can actively contribute together to building the 21st-century world order, for our people.

The United States and Europe have a historical role in this respect, because it is the only way to defend what we believe in, to promote our universal values, to express strongly that human rights, the rights of minorities and shared liberty are the true answer to the disorders of the world.

I believe in these rights and values.

I believe that against ignorance, we have education. Against inequalities, development. Against cynicism, trust and good faith. Against fanaticism, culture. Against disease and epidemics, medicine. Against the threats on the planet, science.

I believe in concrete action. I believe the solutions are in our hands.

I believe in the liberation of the individual, and in the freedom and responsibility of everyone to build their own lives and pursue happiness…

…The United States and the American people are an essential part of our confidence in the future, in democracy, in what women and men can accomplish in this world when we are driven by high ideals and an unbreakable trust in humanity and progress.

Today the call we hear is the call of history. This is a time of determination and courage. What we cherish is at stake. What we love is in danger. We have no choice but to prevail.

And together, we shall prevail.

Tackling online disinformation: Commission proposes an EU-wide Code of Practice

Governance – Disinformation

Editor’s Note:
We have read this press release several times and remain startled at its implications…

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Tackling online disinformation: Commission proposes an EU-wide Code of Practice
European Commission – Press release Brussels, 26 April 2018
Today, the Commission is proposing measures to tackle disinformation online, including an EU-wide Code of Practice on Disinformation, support for an independent network of fact-checkers, and a series of actions to stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy.

The recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations demonstrated exactly how personal data can be exploited in electoral contexts, and are a timely reminder that more is needed to secure resilient democratic processes. Today the European Commission is taking steps forward in the fight against disinformation to ensure the protection of European values and security.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Disinformation is not new as an instrument of political influence. New technologies, especially digital, have expanded its reach via the online environment to undermine our democracy and society. Since online trust is easy to break but difficult to rebuild, industry needs to work together with us on this issue. Online platforms have an important role to play in fighting disinformation campaigns organised by individuals and countries who aim to threaten our democracy.”

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “We are calling on all actors, in particular platforms and social networks who have a clear responsibility, to act on the basis of an action plan aiming at a common European approach so that citizens are empowered and effectively protected against disinformation. We will closely monitor the progress made and may propose further actions by December, including measures of regulatory nature, should the results prove unsatisfactory.”

Commissioner for the Security Union Sir Julian King said: “The weaponisation of on-line fake news and disinformation poses a serious security threat to our societies. The subversion of trusted channels to peddle pernicious and divisive content requires a clear-eyed response based on increased transparency, traceability and accountability. Internet platforms have a vital role to play in countering the abuse of their infrastructure by hostile actors and in keeping their users, and society, safe.”

Based on the independent report published in March 2018 by the High-Level Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation as well as wider consultations carried out over the past six months, the Commission defines disinformation as “verifiably false or misleading information that is created, presented and disseminated for economic gain or to intentionally deceive the public, and may cause public harm”…

To address these concerns and trends, the Commission is proposing a series of measures to tackle disinformation online. These include:

A Code of Practice on Disinformation: By July, and as a first step, online platforms should develop and follow a common Code of Practice with the aim of:
Ensuring transparency about sponsored content, in particular political advertising, as well as restricting targeting options for political advertising and reducing revenues for purveyors of disinformation;
Providing greater clarity about the functioning of algorithms and enabling third-party verification;
Making it easier for users to discover and access different news sources representing alternative viewpoints;
Introducing measures to identify and close fake accounts and to tackle the issue of automatic bots;
Enabling fact-checkers, researchers and public authorities to continuously monitor online disinformation;

An independent European network of fact-checkers: this will establish common working methods, exchange best practices, and work to achieve the broadest possible coverage of factual corrections across the EU; they will be selected from the EU members of the International Fact Checking Network which follows a strict International Fact Checking NetworkCode of Principles;

A secure European online platform on disinformation to support the network of fact-checkers and relevant academic researchers with cross-border data collection and analysis, as well as access to EU-wide data;

Enhancing media literacy: Higher level of media literacy will help Europeans to identify online disinformation and approach online content with a critical eye.To this end, the Commission will encourage fact-checkers and civil society organisations to provide educational material to schools and educators and organise a European Week of Media Literacy;

Support for Member States in ensuring the resilience of elections against increasingly complex cyber threats, including online disinformation and cyber attacks;

Promotion of voluntary online identification systems to improve the traceability and identification of suppliers of information and promote more trust and reliability in online interactions and in information and its sources;

Support for quality and diversified information: The Commission is calling on Member States to scale up their support of quality journalism to ensure a pluralistic, diverse and sustainable media environment. The Commission will launch a call for proposals in 2018 for the production and dissemination of quality news content on EU affairs through data-driven news media;

A Coordinated Strategic Communication Policy, drafted by the Commission services, combining current and future EU initiatives on online disinformation with those of Member States, will set out outreach activities aimed at countering false narratives about Europe and tackling disinformation within and outside the EU.

Next steps
The Commission will shortly convene a multi-stakeholder forum to provide a framework for efficient cooperation among relevant stakeholders, including online platforms, the advertising industry and major advertisers, and to secure a commitment to coordinate and scale up efforts to tackle disinformation. The forum’s first output should be an EU–wide Code of Practice on Disinformation to be published by July 2018, with a view to having a measurable impact by October 2018.
By December 2018, the Commission will report on the progress made. The report will also examine the need for further action to ensure the continuous monitoring and evaluation of the outlined actions.

Attacks on the Record – The State of Global Press Freedom, 2017–2018

Press/Media Freedom

New Report: Attacks on the Record – The State of Global Press Freedom, 2017–2018
Freedom House
Press Release – April 25, 2018
Press freedom is facing new threats in major democracies as well as in repressive states, where authorities are focusing their efforts on social media and other online platforms after reducing the independence of major print and broadcast outlets.

“Populist leaders today constitute a new and growing challenge to free expression in open societies, and interference from Russia and China has compounded the threat,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The assault on press freedom is an attack against a core institution of democracy. Elected leaders who try to discredit factual, critical reporting are undermining democratic accountability and reasoned political debate.”

In advance of World Press Freedom Day, Freedom House compiled information from its most recent Freedom in the World, Freedom on the Net, and Nations in Transit research projects and from its in-country programs. The analysis shows that media independence is under pressure in every region of the world, but also that dedicated journalists are still playing a vital role in even the most hostile environments.

While journalists face harassment and arrest in a growing number of countries, their work remains crucial in forcing leaders to answer for their abuses. From South Africa to Russia, courageous reporters have defied powerful interests to bring stories to the public, enabling their audiences to take action. “A free press allows citizens to hold their governments to account and, when necessary, to bring about real change,” Abramowitz said.

View the full report here: https://freedomhouse.org/report/special-reports/attacks-record-state-global-press-freedom-2017-2018

Ranking Digital Rights – 2018 Corporate Accountability Index

Human Rights – “Digital Rights”

Ranking Digital Rights
New America’s Open Technology Institute
April 2018 :: 148 pages
Funders: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Ford Foundation; Open Society Foundations; U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
PDF: https://rankingdigitalrights.org/index2018/assets/static/download/RDRindex2018report.pdf

Executive summary [Excerpts]
The Ranking Digital Rights 2018 Corporate Accountability Index evaluated 22 of the world’s most powerful internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on their disclosed commitments and policies affecting freedom of expression and privacy. These companies held a combined market capitalization of approximately USD 4.7 trillion. Their products and services are used by a majority of the world’s 4.2 billion internet users…

The 2018 Index evaluated companies on 35 indicators examining disclosed commitments and policies affecting freedom of expression and privacy, including corporate governance and accountability mechanisms. To view in-depth results and data visualizations, download full datasets, and access related resources, news, and updates, please visit: https://rankingdigitalrights.org/index2018…

Recommendations
If the internet is to be designed, operated, and governed in a way that protects and respects human rights, we must all play our part. Companies, governments, investors, civil society organizations, and individuals—as employees of companies, as citizens of nations, as consumers of products, and as users of a globally interconnected internet—must all take responsibility and act.

Corporate transparency and accountability is incomplete without transparent and accountable governments that fulfill their duty to protect human rights. Meanwhile,
companies should be held responsible for all the ways that their products, services, and business operations affect users’ rights, over which they have any influence or control.

All companies evaluated in the Index can make many changes immediately, even in the absence of legal and policy reform. Detailed recommendations are listed throughout the Index report and in the individual company report cards. They fall under seven broad categories:

1. Strengthen corporate governance. Companies should not only articulate clear commitments to respect users’ freedom of expression and privacy, but also disclose concrete evidence that they have institutionalized these commitments through board and executive oversight, company-wide training, internal reporting, and
whistleblowing programs.

2. Get serious about risk assessment. Companies should implement comprehensive due diligence processes to ensure they can anticipate and mitigate any negative impact that their products, services, and business operations may have on users’ rights.

3. Provide meaningful grievance and remedy mechanisms. Companies should have channels for users and other affected parties to file grievances if their rights have been violated as a result of company actions. Companies should also have clearly disclosed processes for responding to complaints and providing appropriate redress.

4. Be transparent and accountable. Companies should publish regular information and data on their official websites that helps users and other stakeholders
understand the circumstances under which personal information is accessed by third parties, speech is censored or restricted, and access to a service is blocked or
restricted.

5. Strengthen privacy. Companies should clearly inform users about what happens to their information, minimize collection and use of data to what is necessary
for provision and service, and provide users with maximum control over what information they provide and with whom it is shared.

6. Strengthen security. Companies should disclose credible evidence of their efforts to secure users’ information. Specifically, they should show that they maintain
industry standards of strong encryption and security, conduct security audits, monitor employee access to information, and have an established process for
handling data breaches.

7. Innovate for human rights. Collaborate with government and civil society. Invest in the development of new technologies and business models that strengthen human rights, and maximize individual control and ownership over personal data and content.

World Intellectual Property Day 2018 Celebrates Women’s Accomplishments: New WIPO Figures Show Highest-Ever Rate of Women Inventors, but Gender Gap Persists

Innovation/IP – Gender

World Intellectual Property Day 2018 Celebrates Women’s Accomplishments: New WIPO Figures Show Highest-Ever Rate of Women Inventors, but Gender Gap Persists
Geneva, April 26, 2018
PR/2018/817
The fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry show the highest rates of women named as inventors in international patent applications filed via WIPO, new figures indicate, as World IP Day 2018 celebrates women driving positive change across the globe.

New data reveal that in total, women were listed in 31 percent of the 243,500 international patent applications published by WIPO in 2017, up from 23 percent a decade WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said these new data show positive trends and underlined this year’s World IP Day theme “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.” But he noted that a pronounced gender gap exists.

“Today we celebrate the innovative, creative accomplishments of women around the globe and across history who expand the frontiers of knowledge and culture,” said Mr. Gurry. “However, international patent applications are an important benchmark for measuring innovative activity in the contemporary, global economy – and anything less than full parity between men and women is an obvious cause for concern.”…

The Future of Food: Maximizing Finance for Development in Agricultural Value Chains – World Bank

Development – Agricultural Value Chains

The Future of Food: Maximizing Finance for Development in Agricultural Value Chains
April 24, 2018 :: 4 pages Working Paper
PDF: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/29686/125295-WP-PUBLIC-futureoffoodpaperweb.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Highlights
:: To achieve the SDGs, more effort needs to be made to attract private sector investment and make sure it works for developing countries and poor people.
:: Maximizing investment in agricultural value chains can improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor people, who rely mainly on agriculture to make a living.
:: Improving the enabling environment for private sector investment, smart use of public financing and promoting responsible investment can help maximize finance for agricultural development
This report highlights financing gaps, identifies a range of potential funding sources, and suggests possible actions to help crowd-in more private investment, while optimizing the use of public resources.
The recommended actions are aligned with the aim to address the market failures that lead to inadequate levels of privately provided goods and services to achieve global development goals. Implementation of MFD in agricultural value chains will require an approach to diagnostics that is more oriented to the private sector, as well as structured, inclusive public-private dialogue to help inform the design of a robust reform and investment program.

Main Messages:
:: Current levels of investment in agricultural value chains are insufficient to achieve key development goals including ending poverty and hunger and boosting shared prosperity through more and better jobs.
:: Crowding-in private investment in the agriculture sector can help achieve development goals and optimize the use of scarce public resources
:: Sources of finance for private sector investments in agricultural value chains are expanding. Sources include own-savings, local and international banks, value chains actors, impact investors, development financing institutions, private sector foundations, and agricultural investment funds.
:: Factors that can help maximize finance for agricultural development include: Improving the enabling environment for the private sector, promoting responsible investment, improving the policy and regulatory environment; using public financing to improve private incentives and to reduce transaction costs and risks—including through blended finance.
:: There is still a critical need for public resources to finance essential public goods and services such as human capital, agricultural research, and complementary public infrastructure.