The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 11 January 2020

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: The Sentinel_ period ending 11 Jan 2020

Contents
:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: 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  [see PDF]

Secretary-General Highlights ‘Trust Deficit’ amid Rising Global Turbulence, in Remarks to Security Council Debate on ‘Upholding United Nations Charter’

“Upholding the United Nations Charter”

.
Secretary-General Highlights ‘Trust Deficit’ amid Rising Global Turbulence, in Remarks to Security Council Debate on ‘Upholding United Nations Charter’
9 January 2020
SG/SM/19934
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the Security Council open debate on “Upholding the United Nations Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security”, in New York today:

I thank the Vietnamese presidency of the Council for organizing this timely debate and I congratulate Viet Nam for the presidency of the Security Council at the beginning of your tenure in the Security Council itself. I also welcome the presence of the Chair of the Elders, Mary Robinson. And I am pleased that we begin the year of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations with a discussion on its founding document.

Peace is our most precious value and the essence of our work. All that we strive for as a human family depends on peace. But peace depends on us. Unfortunately, the new year has begun with fresh turmoil and long-standing suffering. Geopolitical tensions have reached dangerous levels, most recently in the Gulf, as well as from traditional military threats to the economy to cyberspace. Conflicts that no one is winning grind on and on and on, from Libya and Syria to Afghanistan and the Sahel.

With turbulence on the rise, trust within and among nations is on the decline. We see this trust deficit also in streets across the world, as people vent their frustrations and voice their feeling that political establishments are out of touch, incapable or unwilling to deliver. We see it in the work of the United Nations, including the Security Council, when Member States struggle or fail to find reasonable common ground. And in this vacuum, the climate crisis is now upon us with ever-growing fury, sparing no one.

International cooperation is at a crossroads. All of this presents a grave test to multilateralism. It poses a challenge for the Security Council, which under the Charter has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. And it underscores, more than ever, the focus of today’s meeting: upholding the United Nations Charter.

At this time of global divisions and turmoil, the Charter remains our shared framework of international cooperation for the common good. In an era of spreading hatred and impunity, the Charter reminds us of the primacy of the rule of law and human dignity. And in a time of rapid transformation and technological change, the Charter’s values and objectives endure: the peaceful settlement of disputes; the equal rights of men and women; non-intervention, self-determination and the sovereign equality of Member States; and clear rules governing the use of force, as set out in Article 2, paragraph 4, and Chapter VII of the Charter.

These principles are not favours or concessions. They are the foundation of international relations and they are core to peace and international law. They have saved lives, advanced economic and social progress and, crucially, avoided a descent into another world war. But when these principles have been flouted, put aside or applied selectively, the result has been catastrophic: conflict, chaos, death, disillusion and mistrust. Our shared challenge is to do far better in upholding the Charter’s values and fulfilling its promise to succeeding generations.

While the Charter and its purposes and principles remain as relevant as ever, our tools must adapt to new realities. And we must use them with greater determination and creativity. This includes ensuring implementation of the Security Council’s decisions by Member States pursuant to Article 25 of the Charter.

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate our impact is to invest in prevention. We spend far more time and resources managing and responding to crises than on preventing them. Our approach needs to be rebalanced. The founders of the United Nations had a crystal-clear focus on prevention when drafting the Charter, from the opening words of its preamble to dedicating an entire chapter to the “Pacific Settlement of Disputes”.

Chapter VI outlines many available tools, including negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and judicial settlement. We have ample evidence that these can be effective when applied with purpose and unity. I call on the Council to further utilize the powers granted to it by the Charter, including investigation of disputes in accordance with Chapter VI and the referral of legal questions to the International Court of Justice for advisory opinions, in accordance with Article 96 of the Charter.

Let us also recognize that the Sustainable Development Goals, which are objectives in their own right, are among our best tools for prevention. I urge all Member States to make greater investments in the 2030 Agenda, in particular in gender equality, inclusion, social cohesion, good governance and a fair globalization that advances the rights of all, unleashes the talents of all, and gives all a stake in society.

In addition to prevention, the Charter was visionary in imagining a world in which the United Nations worked dynamically with regional organizations to maintain international peace and security. While Chapter VIII predates most of our regional partners, it sets a framework for cooperation and division of labour. We are investing in regional partnerships in crucial new ways. I have put significant emphasis on a strategic partnership with the African Union, including through its “Silencing the Guns” initiative and its Agenda 2063. The European Union continues to provide strong support across our agenda. At the same time, we are working to strengthen ties with all other regional organizations. Among them, of course, is the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, ASEAN, so ably chaired this year by this Council’s President, Viet Nam.

Throughout its history, the Security Council has adapted its work based on the changing nature of conflict and enhanced multilateral cooperation in peace and security. Peacekeeping is not mentioned in the Charter, but it is firmly rooted in its ideals and epitomizes the kind of collective action for peace that the Charter envisaged. Today some 100,000 [United Nations] peacekeepers protect civilians and promote peace in several of the most troubled regions of the world. [United Nations] peacekeeping remains a vital and cost-effective investment in global peace and security. But effective peacekeeping requires strong international support. The Action for Peacekeeping initiative stresses our shared commitment to make our peacekeeping missions stronger, safer and fit for the future.

Finally, Mr. President, as we commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, I wish to direct a special message to this Council. The privilege of membership carries vital responsibilities to uphold the Charter’s tenets and values, particularly in preventing and addressing conflict. Present and past disagreements must not be an obstacle to action on today’s threats. We must avoid double standards. But also, perceptions of double standards must not be an excuse for no standards at all.

War is never inevitable; it is a matter of choice – and often it is the product of easy miscalculations. Peace, too, is never inevitable; it is the product of hard work and we must never take it for granted. At this time when global fault-lines risk exploding, we must return to fundamental principles; we must return to the framework that has kept us together; we must come home to the [United Nations] Charter.

Strengthening our commitment to that resilient, adaptable and visionary document – and thus to the very notion of international cooperation itself – remains the most effective way to collectively face the global challenges of this grave moment, and the decade before us.

The Charter compels us to do everything in our power to save people from the scourge of war and injustice. As we face new threats but also new opportunities for a better world, that is the work that must define this seventy-fifth anniversary year.

Thank you.

OAS – RESOLUTION REGARDING RECENT EVENTS IN VENEZUELA

Venezuela: OAS Resolution

CP/RES. 1143 (2269/20) 10 January 2020
REGARDING RECENT EVENTS IN VENEZUELA
(Adopted by the Permanent Council at its special meeting of January 10, 2020)

THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
CONSIDERING that the Charter of the Organization of American States recognizes that representative democracy is indispensable for the stability, peace, and development of the region;

REAFFIRMING the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and the obligation of their governments to promote and defend it as reflected in Article 1 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter;

NOTING THAT resolution CP/RES. 1117 (2200/19), adopted on January 10, 2019, resolved: “[t]o not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term as of the 10th of January of 2019,” and called “for new Presidential elections with all necessary guarantees of a free, fair, transparent, and legitimate process to be held at an early date attended by international observers.”

CONSIDERING that the National Assembly is the only democratic institution remaining in Venezuela;

UNDERSCORING that Resolution CP/RES. 1133 (2244/19), adopted by the Permanent Council on August 28, 2019, firmly condemned the grave and systematic violations of human rights in Venezuela, including the use of torture, illegal and arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and the denial of the most basic rights and necessities, especially those related to health, food, and education.

RESOLVES:
To condemn the use of force and intimidating tactics by the regime of Nicolas Maduro to try to prevent the deputies of the National Assembly from freely accessing the session convened for January 5, 2020 to democratically elect their Governing Board.

To welcome the re-election of Juan Guaidó as the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly.

To renew the call for a prompt return to democracy in Venezuela and, in that regard, reaffirm the need to hold inclusive, free, fair, and transparent presidential elections, conducted by a renewed and independent National Electoral Council and a renewed and independent Supreme Court of Justice and with the presence of independent international observers.

FOOTNOTE
… Antigua and Barbuda considers that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is not a member state of the Organization of American States since, on 27 April 2017, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela properly notified the Secretary-General of its denunciation of the Charter in accordance with Article 143 of the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Charter ceased to be in force with respect to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which ceased to belong to the organization on 27 April 2019.

Antigua and Barbuda did not support resolution CP/RES 1124 (2217/19) of April 9, 2019 which sought to appoint Mr. Gustavo Tarre as the National Assembly’s Representative to the OAS and did not accept the credentials of the officials intending to represent the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the 49th Regular Session of the General Assembly.

At that 49th Regular Session of the General Assembly, Antigua and Barbuda notified all member states and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States that until further notice, it will not consider itself bound by any future declarations or resolutions of any Council or organ of the Organization that includes the participation of any person or entity purporting to speak for or act on behalf of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and in which 18 votes are attained with the participation of a purported representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Statement on the threats to cultural heritage in case of armed conflicts – ICOM, ICOMOS

Heritage and Armed Conflict

Statement on the threats to cultural heritage in case of armed conflicts
International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
06/01/2020

In armed conflicts and political upheavals since the turn of the millennium, cultural heritage has been increasingly targeted. It has been looted or deliberately destroyed, in order to finance warfare or to affect the identity and the confidence of adversaries. Museums as well as cultural sites are affected in many countries around the world.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), as representatives of the heritage community in the world, are very much concerned about this evolution and in particular recent developments. ICOM and ICOMOS remind all parties of armed conflicts of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

There, States Parties agree that “any damage to cultural property, irrespective of the people it belongs to, is a damage to the cultural heritage of all humanity, because every people contributes to the world’s culture.” The United States of America ratified the Hague Convention in 2009, Iran in 1959.
Both countries are also States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which the United States of America was the first country to ratify in 1973 and played a key role in promoting. Iran is home to 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of great cultural and natural importance – not only to Iranians, but to humanity and its collective memory.

Moreover, in 2017, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2347 that states: “directing unlawful attacks against sites and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments may constitute, under certain circumstances and pursuant to international law a war crime and that perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice”.

ICOM and ICOMOS jointly and strongly condemn any deliberate destruction of cultural heritage. We call upon all parties to respect the international agreements that rule armed conflicts, and to protect the world’s cultural heritage wherever it is, regardless of religious beliefs or political intentions.

Declaration of Cities Coalition for Digital Rights

“Digital Rights”

45 Cities to endorse digital rights in cities
Tuesday 7 January, 2020
To date 45 cities have formally confirmed to endorse the 5 principles of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. The new cities include Athens, Bratislava, Cary, Chicago, Grenoble, Helsinki, Kansas City, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Milan, Moscow, Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Tirana, Torino, Vienna and Zaragoza.

.
Declaration of Cities Coalition for Digital Rights
We, the undersigned cities, formally come together to form the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, to protect and uphold human rights on the internet at the local and global level.

The internet has become inseparable from our daily lives. Yet, every day, there are new cases of digital rights abuse, misuse and misinformation and concentration of power around the world: freedom of expression being censored; personal information, including our movements and communications, monitored, being shared and sold without consent; ‘black box’ algorithms being used to make unaccountable decisions; social media being used as a tool of harassment and hate speech; and democratic processes and public opinion being undermined.

As cities, the closest democratic institutions to the people, we are committed to eliminating impediments to harnessing technological opportunities that improve the lives of our constituents, and to providing trustworthy and secure digital services and infrastructures that support our communities. We strongly believe that human rights principles such as privacy , freedom of expression , and democracy must be incorporated by design into digital platforms starting with locally-controlled digital infrastructures and services.

As a coalition, and with the support of the United Nations Human Settlements Program ( UN-Habitat ), we will share best practices, learn from each other’s challenges and successes, and coordinate common initiatives and actions. Inspired by the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition ( IRPC ), the work of 300 international stakeholders over the past ten years, we are committed to the following five evolving principles:

1. Universal and equal access to the internet, and digital literacy
Everyone should have access to affordable and accessible internet and digital services on equal terms, as well as the digital skills to make use of this access and overcome the digital divide.

2. Privacy, data protection and security
Everyone should have privacy and control over their personal information through data protection in both physical and virtual places, to ensure digital confidentiality,
security, dignity and anonymity, and sovereignty over their data, including the right to know what happens to their data, who uses it and for what purposes.

3. Transparency, accountability, and non-discrimination of data, content and algorithms
Everyone should have access to understandable and accurate information about the technological, algorithmic and artificial intelligence systems that impact their lives, and the ability to question and change unfair, biased or discriminatory systems.

4. Participatory Democracy, diversity and inclusion
Everyone should have full representation on the internet, and the ability collectively to engage with the city through open, participatory and transparent digital processes. Everyone should have the opportunities to participate in shaping local digital infrastructures and services and, more generally, city policy-making for the common good.

5. Open and ethical digital service standards
Everyone should be able to use the technologies of their choice, and expect the same level of interoperability, inclusion and opportunity in their digital services. Cities should define their own technological infrastructures, services and agenda, through open and ethical digital service standards and data to ensure that they live up to this
promise.

Data Collection in Fragile States : Innovations from Africa and Beyond

Evidence Informed Development – Fragile States

Data Collection in Fragile States : Innovations from Africa and Beyond
World Bank January 09, 2020 Publication
PDF: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/32576/9783030251208.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Fragile countries face a triple data challenge. Up-to-date information is needed to deal with rapidly changing circumstances and to design adequate responses. Yet, fragile countries are among the most data deprived, while collecting new information in such circumstances is very challenging. This open access book presents innovations in data collection developed with decision makers in fragile countries in mind. Looking at innovations in Africa from mobile phone surveys monitoring the Ebola crisis, to tracking displaced people in Mali, this collection highlights the challenges in data collection researchers face and how they can be overcome.

.
Media Release
Data Collection in Fragile States
Highlights
:: Decision makers in fragile countries need quality data; obtaining such data is challenging.
:: This book presents innovations, methodological as well as in data collection, to meet this challenge. The innovations presented in this book are relevant beyond fragile situations.
:: With effort, quality data can be produced for many fragile situations, effectively eliminating the notion that data cannot be collected in certain difficult circumstances.

Quality statistics are critical for development interventions to be effective. However, they are hard to obtain in fragile situations as fragility affects the ability to collect data in many ways. From exposure to violence or to other dangers, such as disease, collecting information isn’t possible using traditional means without putting enumerators at risk. There is also the association of conflict with poor-quality roads, inadequate telecommunication infrastructure and, at times, populations that are hostile to representatives of the central government.

Fragile situations can also complicate data collection in other ways such as people being displaced or the lack of sampling frames. A new report, Data Collection in Fragile States, presents innovations developed to deal with common challenges. The report presents innovations, both methodological as well in data collection, to address the data gaps in fragile situations. Through examples, the book shows that it is possible to collect high-quality data in fragile settings and such data collection need not be expensive but also warns that technology is not a panacea for all data collection issues.

Additional Findings
:: The proliferation of mobile phone networks and inexpensive handsets has opened new possibilities for data collection. Although they cannot replace face-to-face household surveys in all contexts, mobile phone surveys offer substantial benefits in specific circumstances and for specific data collection needs. For locations where mobile phone surveys are not an option, locally recruited, resident enumerators who live in the community can be used. Mobile phone surveys were used to collect information during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, the drought in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, and were used to track the welfare of people displaced by the crisis in northern Mali.

:: Technological advances in geospatial data have the potential to change how survey data are collected. As geospatial technology has improved and become more widespread, costs have come down and the number of available tools has increased, making Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based sampling approaches accessible to more users. To deal with the absence of sampling frames in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, satellite images and sophisticated machine learning algorithms were used to estimate population density and demarcate enumeration areas.

:: Sampling in chaotic and fluid locations, where people are displaced or live In Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) settlements requires a rethinking of traditional sampling approaches. Attention should also be paid to elicit truthful information from respondents. Approaches such as endorsement experiments, list experiments, and behavioral approaches can be used to ask questions about sensitive issues such as loyalty to controversial groups along with how to avoid strategic responses when respondents might expect benefits to be associated with certain answers. For instance, in South Sudan, different sampling approaches were tested in an IDP camp to shed light on their precision.

:: Video testimonials provide a cost-effective way to give outside audiences a perspective on the lives of survey respondents. The collection of household data is usually a passive process where respondents are asked pre-formulated questions. This constrains the respondents in sharing their own narratives and emphasizing what they feel is important. The video testimonials give a voice to the poor and help better understand the concerns of the poor as well as empower them to create a narrative that they own. In South Sudan, in addition to estimating the poverty data, video testimonials revealed what it was like to live in poverty.

:: A light-touch approach to generating periodic feedback can help provide information about the performance of donor projects. A new approach called Iterative Beneficiary Monitoring (IBM) provides a feedback system that focuses on a select set of issues to measure outcomes of projects. By keeping data collection focused, IBM facilitates timely data analysis and the rapid preparation of reports. The approach was introduced in Mali to provide feedback on projects about feeding in schools to distribution of e-vouchers and cash transfers.

WEF: New Report Proposes Global DNA Synthesis Screening System to Counter Biotech Terror

Governance – Biotechnology

New Report Proposes Global DNA Synthesis Screening System to Counter Biotech Terror
News 08 Jan 2020
:: Advances in biotechnology, including DNA synthesis (the creation of DNA sequences and genomes), are driving improvements in the energy, food, agriculture, health and manufacturing industries

:: But accidental or deliberate misuse of DNA synthesis could result in the spread of dangerous agents, potentially resulting in risks to public health or global health security

:: Widespread access to DNA synthesis and new synthesis methods, in the absence of global biotechnology norms and screening practices, enhances the threat

:: The World Economic Forum and Nuclear Threat Initiative propose a new mechanism to develop, standardize and strengthen screening practices
:: Read the full report here

Geneva, Switzerland, 7 January 2020 – Rapid advancements in commercially available DNA synthesis technologies – used for example to artificially create gene sequences for clinical diagnosis and treatment – pose growing risks, with the potential to cause a catastrophic biological security threat if accidentally or deliberately misused.

A new World Economic Forum and Nuclear Threat Initiative report, “Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction: A global Framework for Accessible, Safe and Secure DNA Synthesis,” gathers opinion from a group of global public- and private-sector experts who propose standardized screening practices to counter the threat.

Since scientists demonstrated the means to create a full viral genome in 2002, DNA synthesis technologies have become increasingly available and frequently used by scientists and engineers around the world. These technologies support myriad advancements in synthetic biology, enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of industries including energy, food, agriculture, health and manufacturing. Further advances in technology hold great promise for sustainable development and a safer and more secure society.

At the same time, new approaches to DNA editing and synthesis have made it easier to manipulate biological agents and systems, increasing the risk of a catastrophic accidental or deliberate biological event. These technologies make it possible to create pathogen or toxin DNA that could be misused. For example, in 2018 researchers published work detailing the synthesis of horsepox virus, an extinct virus related to smallpox, using synthetic DNA fragments purchased from a commercial provider. This demonstrated the potential for creating other viruses via commercially available technologies.

Although many DNA providers practice screening procedures, this approach is voluntary and is becoming increasingly expensive. As access expands and the cost of DNA synthesis declines, more DNA is likely to reach the market via additional providers, significantly expanding the user base. In the next two to three years, a new generation of benchtop DNA synthesis machines, enabled by enzymatic DNA synthesis methods, could become available without guidance or norms to prevent misuse.

This report, endorsed by an international expert Working Group, recommends a global system for synthetic DNA screening practices by developing an international, cost-effective, and sustainable mechanism to prevent illicit practices and misuse. The new framework improves the existing voluntary guidelines because it standardizes screening processes, is accessible to new players in the market, and provides valuable feedback data to evaluate the screening – all at lower cost.

“Biotechnology is at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To deliver on the promise of the biotechnology revolution, we must seize opportunities to develop and deliver life-advancing innovations while simultaneously and urgently addressing potential risks associated with a growing and democratized bio-economy,” said Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Health Care at the World Economic Forum.

The report also proposes that companies, international organizations and governments should explore options for the sustainable oversight and the maintenance of this proposed DNA sequence screening mechanism. DNA synthesis capabilities, in addition to other emerging technologies, can benefit from a larger system of common global life-science norms overseen by a globally recognized entity.

“Global DNA synthesis screening can be a critical tool to reduce the risk that life-science technologies could be deliberately misused to carry out biological attacks or accidentally result in a high-consequence or catastrophic biological event. The time is now,” said Ernest J. Moniz, Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

::::::

Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction: A global Framework for Accessible, Safe and Secure DNA Synthesis
World Economic Forum – Insight Report – In collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)
January 2020 :: 18 pages
PDF: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Biosecurity_Innovation_Risk_Reduction.pdf
[Excerpt]
Recommendations
Developing a Common DNA Sequence Screening Mechanism
1) By early 2020, establish a global, standing, multi-stakeholder, technical consortium (“the Consortium”) to develop a common DNA sequence screening mechanism that is accessible at low cost,
secure and easy to use by all providers of DNA and providers of benchtop DNA synthesis machines.
This mechanism would include an internationally recognized set of sequences of pathogen and toxin
DNA (see Appendix B for additional details) and algorithms to screen ordered DNA sequences against
that set of sequences. The Consortium should work to develop a version of the screening mechanism that is fully automated for ease of use and integration as a built-in feature of benchtop DNA synthesis machines.

2) As the common DNA sequence screening mechanism is developed, the Consortium should consider security precautions and built-in technical safeguards to prevent its misuse.

3) By 2021, the common DNA sequence screening mechanism should be supplied to all DNA providers
to incorporate into their operations. Regular updates should be established thereafter.

4) By 2021, the common DNA sequence screening mechanism and its updates should be supplied to all
developers and providers of benchtop DNA synthesis machines to incorporate into their machines and/or operations.
a. The Consortium should work with providers of benchtop machines to implement procedures to
screen each DNA sequence before it is synthesized.
b. The Consortium should consider the potential to prohibit some sequences from being created by benchtop machines. In this case, benchtop machines could have a built-in version of the common mechanism and would be unable to synthesize DNA sequences that are a hit.

Oversight, policies and partnerships for establishing synthetic DNA screening as a global norm
1) The Consortium should be funded as an independent technical entity for at least two years so that it can immediately start work to meet the goal of developing the common DNA sequence screening mechanism and providing it to DNA providers and providers of benchtop DNA synthesis machines by 2021.

2) In early-to-mid 2020, NTI and the World Economic Forum should convene senior leaders from
governments, companies and international organizations to explore options for the sustainable oversight of the Consortium and maintenance of the proposed DNA sequence screening mechanism.
These options may include developing synthetic DNA screening as a new mandate for an existing
international entity or the creation of a new organization to take on this mandate.

3) In partnership with the new or existing organization focusing on this work, the technical Consortium
should work with states, international organizations, industry groups, universities and others to pursue
opportunities to strengthen synthetic DNA screening as a global norm and standard among governments, researchers, institutions, and providers of DNA and benchtop DNA synthesis machines.