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Postdoctoral Fellow Neha Mishra participated in the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2020: One World, One Internet, which was held on 11 and 12 November. Dr Mishra participated in the session ‘The WTO's Digital Trade Initiative: Implications for Asian Policies’, with Erika Mann (Covington and Burlington LLP), Roy Chun Lee (Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research), and Tsai-fang Chen (National Chiao Tung University). The session was moderated by William Drake (University of Zurich). Dr Mishra’s online presentation was based on her research on the WTO’s ongoing negotiations on e-commerce under the plurilateral Joint Statement Initiative (JSI). She discussed the various proposals made by WTO members on e-commerce, especially in the context of how the proposed trade rules will impact internet governance focussing on cross-border data flows, data localisation, privacy protection, cybersecurity and source code disclosure requirements. Thereafter, she provided her inputs on the dynamics in the negotiations between developed and developing countries as well as the ongoing tech war between the US and China. She concluded that given the divergence of perspectives on e-commerce rules among WTO members, any short-term outcomes in the ongoing JSI negotiations appear unlikely. The outcome, especially in the short run, could be a very basic agreement covering relatively uncontroversial areas such as spam, e-signatures, e-authentication, and online consumer protection. Difficult data governance issues will continue to remain unresolved.
Senior Research Fellow Denise Cheong and Research Associate S Nivedita participated in the second meeting of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Nuclear Energy Experts Group held this year.
Senior research fellows Youna Lyons and Vu Hai Dang took part in the online 4th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics (AHEG) as observers. The meeting was hosted by UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya, from 9 to 13 November 2020. Participants to this intergovernmental meeting included 200+ representatives from States, international organisations and NGOs. This is the last AHEG meeting before the 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5), scheduled to take place in February 2021. The meeting discussed the implementation of UNEA Resolutions 3/7 and 4/6 on marine litter and microplastic, which require the AHEG to assess existing measures to combat plastic pollution and submit potential response options to UNEA 5. At the end of the meeting, delegates agreed that existing measures in dealing with plastic pollution are not sufficient and a range of response options will be submitted to UNEA 5 for consideration, including the development of a new global instrument to facilitate actions against plastics.
Senior Research Fellow Denise Cheong and Research Associate S Nivedita participated in ‘The Future of Nuclear Energy,’ a webinar organised by the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative (SNRSI).
Senior Research Fellow Denise Cheong and Research Associate Nivedita S participated in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s webinar on ‘Responsibilities and Capabilities of Owners and Operators’.