During the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade in October 2019, the IPU Governing Bodies established the Working Group on Science and Technology to serve as the global parliamentary focal point for issues related to science and technology. The Group aims to advance the implementation of the science and technology segment of the IPU Strategy by concentrating on ethical considerations, taking into account the accelerated advancement of new technologies and their present and future impact on society.
In this regard, the members of the IPU Working Group on Science and Technology spent two years on developing an International Charter on the Ethics of Science and Technology, aiming at ensuring that the development and deployment of science and technology are carried out in a responsible, ethical, and sustainable manner.
The purpose of the Charter is to establish a framework of principles, values, and guidelines that serve to guide decision-making, research, and development, ensuring that science and technology are used for the betterment of humanity and the environment. It would help address ethical dilemmas, such as privacy, data protection, artificial intelligence, social justice and environmental sustainability, that arise from certain technological advancements.
After being worked on by the members of the IPU Working Group on Science and Technology for two years, it was agreed that the current draft of the International Charter on the Ethics of Science and Technology needs external input from industry and experts in ethics, humanities, science and diplomacy.
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: The Consultant will report to the Senior Advisor to the Secretary General and will coordinate closely with the Junior Consultant in Science, to support the work of the IPU in the field of science and technology, particularly in reviewing, updating and revising the IPU International Charter on the Ethics of Science and Technology.
- Review, update and revise the IPU International Charter on the Ethics of Science and Technology (the Charter);
- Ensure that the Charter is up-to-date and inclusive of the latest technological advancements in light of their rapid pace;
- Attend the meetings of the Working Group on Science and Technology composed of Members of Parliament (approximately 6 days);
- Propose a methodology that can secure an inclusive outcome for the discussions on the Charter;
- Propose agenda items for the coordination meetings with the different scientific disciplines and the legislators;
- Act as the focal point for the Charter and contribute to its presentation to the IPU Membership;
- Provide ideas and content for the promotion of the Charter in layman’s terms:
- Liaise with external partners to gather constructive feedback on the Charter;
- Any other deliverables as many be deemed necessary.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following:
- Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff;
- Members of the IPU Secretariat;
- Specialized IPU bodies and committees;
- External partners and institutions, including UN experts and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, such as CERN, GESDA and ICISE;
- Scientists from different disciplines and ethicists; industry experts.
Proven extensive knowledge of the emerging scientific and technological advancements, as well as their potential impact on various industries, in order to provide insightful contributions to the Charter's development and ensure that it remains relevant and up-to-date.
Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to reason through complex ethical dilemmas, in order to identify potential ethical issues and propose viable solutions that balance the interests of various stakeholders.
Proven ability to produce reports and papers; proven knowledge of the role, structure and working methods of parliaments and the UN works in the area of Science and Technology; ability to work independently under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
Demonstrated use of initiative in facilitating the production of a complex work product.
Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written; and ability to clearly and concisely articulate ideas and recommendations to a diverse range of audiences, including scientists, policymakers and the general public.
Proficiency in computer applications; proficiency in MS Office programmes; and ability to creatively express project information.
Education: Advanced university degree in engineering, scientific fields, international relations, political science, law or a related field.
Language: A perfect command of written and spoken English and an excellent knowledge of French. Knowledge of other languages, in particular UN languages, will be an advantage.
Experience: At least 15 years of work experience in a scientific field, including science and diplomacy, and with multilateral organisations. Previous experience working in a parliamentary environment will be a distinct advantage.
Dates and conditions: The consultancy will be carried out between July and October 2023. A copy of the draft of the Charter will be shared with the candidates upon request. Candidates will be asked to map out their proposed workplan with timelines and estimated number of consultancy days and daily rates.
Location: Although the position will be based in Geneva, Switzerland, the consultant can begin his/her work remotely, with the requirement of physical presence in the office whenever needed.