UNICC and UPV members standing in front of Foro E event banner
Photo: UNICC

UNICC Strengthens Partnerships with Universities and Academic Institutions

The organization participates in a variety of events with academic institutions

UNICC’s involvement with academic institutions demonstrates the willingness of the organization and its personnel to engage with bright minds through insightful presentations and dynamic discussions, as well as its commitment to provide young people with professional experience while benefiting from creating a diverse workforce, expanding the organization’s expertise and reach to the latest theoretical and technical knowledge and resources.

Master class on project management and digital transformation

The University of Salento’s Department of Economics, in collaboration with the Department of Engineering for Innovation, partnered with UNICC for a Business Management seminar on Project Management and Digital Transformation, held remotely on 5 May 2022. Students from various faculties attended the session led by Marco Liuzzi, Chief of Operations, UNICC, upon invitation from Professor Roberto Paiano.  

During the session, Marco explored two key organizational perspectives, run-the-business vs. change-the-business, eventually looking at the various levels in which changes to an organization can be looked at and managed all the way from organizational strategy to portfolio management, down to program and project management. He then focused on project management, comparing and contrasting traditional best practices in project management with agile best practices. Having set the background around the management of organizational changes, a specific class of changes was discussed – changes in support of digital transformation. This was looked both at a high level, through the lens of a Gartner framework, as well as by giving specific examples of projects run by UNICC, including the support to COP26 and the work for the development and release of the UNJSPF Digital Certificate of Entitlement.

Engineering and cooperation for development roundtable

On 6 May 2022, UNICC’s Sandra Bardón, Cybersecurity Analyst at UNICC, participated in a roundtable on Engineering and Cooperation for Development at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) together with two women leaders in the tech industry.

Sandra Bardon introduced UNICC and presented some activities and projects she is working on related to development cooperation in the field of cybersecurity. The session closed with a round of questions by the attendees. Sandra received many good questions from the students who were very interested in joining UNICC.

UNICC's Sandra at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) together with two women leaders in the tech industry.
Photo: UNICC/Bardon

Career fairs, talent events and more

Additionally, UNICC has presented job and internship opportunities at several career fairs in Spain and Switzerland, connecting with potential candidates in a variety of fields, from all areas of digital business and technology.

Other recent events with academic institutions include the International Girls in ICT Day event on 27 April 2022 at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, in Brooklyn, New York, USA in partnership with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, NYU Tandon.

UNICC at the International Girls in ICT Day event
Photo: UNICC/Ouyang

UNICC’s participation in these events speaks to its commitment to SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals.

Girl participating in an activity at the International Girls in ICT Day 2022 event
Photo: UNICC/Ouyang

ITU, NYC Mayor’s Office, NYU, SG’s Envoy on Youth and UNICC Sponsor an International Girls in ICT Day Event in New York

Design thinking activities inspire girls, young women and women thought leaders

International Girls in ICT Day supports the creation of a global setting for empowering and encouraging girls to consider careers in STEM. After two years of constraints to physical meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UNICC, on 27 April 2022, was able to celebrate this international day again with an in-person event that brought together over 70 girls and women at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

UNICC, together with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs organized an afternoon of group activities and discussion to provide middle school girls and young women from New York with an opportunity to meet women technologists and thought leaders for inspiration and empowerment. 

The event gathered 20 middle school girls aged 12 to 14 from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, 13 NYU students majoring in STEM fields like Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Business Technology Management and Integrated Design and Media, as well as 20 women thought leaders from the public and private sector, including Pfizer, Microsoft, Meta, Verizon, Ernst & Young and UN organizations including UNICEF, UN Women, ITU and UNICC.

This event was like a bridge that connected girls with women technologists: girls learned about professional experiences and were inspired by the comprehensive tech thinking of the older women, while the women in tech were amazed by the creative young generation and their courage to stand up and present their ideas in public!

Denian Ouyang, Junior Communications Officer, UNICC

After opening remarks and an ice-breaking activity, the attendees participated in two design thinking exercises led by Leejung Kim, Director of Global Commercial Operations at Pfizer. In the first activity, participants tried to answer the question ‘What can we do to improve gender parity in technology industries?’ Using a variety of craft materials, girls and women collaborated to create models and find solutions to the question.

Answers to the question: 'What can we do to improve gender parity in technology industries?' by girls and women participating in the International Girls in ICT Day 2022
Photos: UNICC/Ouyang

The second theme was ‘Access and Safety,’ for which Leejung Kim introduced four women who live in NYC with safety issues. Participants focused on creating a solution to improve safe public spaces for girls and women, and came up with ideas that ranged from a robotic guard dog, security cameras inside trains, to LED lights that alert authorities when something out of ordinary occurs.

Jeremiah Brent, an interior designer, said “when designing- whether it’s a living room, event space or tablescape, I always want guests to feel as though they are part of the experience.” That’s what I felt participating in the ICT for Girls Day event. I felt that I was very much a part of the experience during those few hours of memorable shares for our purpose in life. 

Myinzu Shwe, Project Manager, UNICC

International Girls in ICT Day was an opportunity to watch young girls in action and work with them to build STEM solutions to empower women. It was a forum that helped me see the younger generation’s viewpoints, understand their perceived challenges and come to a shared understanding of why STEM is important for women and for the world.

Anu Senan, Business Relationship Manger, UNICC

I was blown away by the sheer level of motivation, ambition and intelligence demonstrated by these girls. It was both refreshing and inspiring to be surrounded by such brilliant young  minds and I look forward to seeing some amazing technological innovations coming our way. The future is bright indeed!

Cynthia Shumba, Head, Service Desk Unit, UNICC

UNICC’s Junior Communications Officer Denian Ouyang, Business Relationship Manager Anu Senan, Head of Service Desk Unit Cynthia Shumba and Project Manager Myinzu Shwe participated in the event as role models, sharing their own experiences at UNICC and in the ICT sector. 

UNICC Women at the International Girls in ICT Day 2022 event in NYC
Photo: UNICC/Ouyang

International girls in ICT day celebrations

International Girls in ICT Day is a day recognized around the world and held every fourth Thursday in April to support the creation of a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICT.

In the past years, UNICC has teamed-up with various partners to celebrate this day. In 2018, ITU, UNICEF, WIPO, UN Women, Build ‘n Blaze and the New York City Mayor’s Office together with UNICC brought together 20 young women and men to the Microsoft Technology Centre in New York to meet 20 STEAM professionals. The following year the event took place at the SMART Campus of Cornell Tech with the sponsorship of ITU, Women in Technology and Enterpreneurship in New York (WiTNY), the NYC Mayor’s Office and UNICEF. 

For 2020 and 2021, when it wasn’t possible to have physical meetings, ITU, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the EQUALS Global Partnership and UNICC launched a series of virtual dialogues to keep promoting ICT careers among girls and young women. The Girls and Women Talking Tech interviews have been a big success with 380+ participants to this day, and they continue to inspire young generations of women to pursue careers in STEM, enabling technology companies, academic institutions, economies and societies to benefit from greater female participation in a more inclusive ICT sector. 

Group photo of the over 70 girls and women at the International Girls in ICT Day 2022 event
Photo: UNICC/Ouyang
UNICC's Prado Nieto and Sameer Chauhan with moderator at Wake Up Spain
Photo: El Español/Palazuelos

UNICC Director and Chief BRM Speak at Economic Forum ‘Wake Up, Spain!’

Sameer Chauhan and Prado Nieto share how UNICC’s work is critical in supporting the UN

UNICC’s Director Sameer Chauhan and Chief of Business Relationship Management Prado Nieto were invited to speak at the second edition of the Spanish economic forum ‘Wake Up, Spain!’ to share the value of UNICC in supporting the UN family with technology and digital business solutions: to leave no one behind.

‘Wake Up, Spain!’ is a symposium organized by El Español, Invertia and D+I (Disruptores e Innovadores) with participation of members of the Spanish government, social agents, regional presidents, global business referents and international leaders who discuss topics around learning, growth and sustainability in a Europe of solidarity.

In a conversation guided by Vice Director of D+I (Disruptores e Innovadores) Alberto Iglesias Fraga, Sameer Chauhan and Prado Nieto explained the role of UNICC within the UN and how technology contributes to UN organizations’ humanitarian work.

UNICC is a UN shared services technology hub for over 80 Clients and Partner Organizations, building strategic partnerships to offer the best digital business solutions available in the market to support each organization in achieving its mission, whether it is closing the gender gap, supporting efforts related to climate change or providing food and shelter to refugees.

UNICC supports it Partner Agencies that are on the frontlines in the field during a humanitarian crisis like the war in Ukraine. Technology allows these organizations to be efficient and scale their operations very rapidly, making a real impact. 

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

Chauhan and Nieto shared with the audience concrete examples of projects where UNICC and its Partner Organizations have worked side by side to use technologies for the greater good, from investigating crimes against humanity with machine learning tools to determining if an electoral processes has been transparent and fair using social media data and automating manual tasks to improve organizational efficiencies.

Alberto Iglesias Fraga also alluded to UNICC´s focus on cybersecurity and its crucial role in making sure all sensitive, digitized data of UN personnel and stakeholders stays secure. In the current geopolitical scenario, the UN is the target of many cyber threats and UNICC works closely with over 40 UN entities for stronger protection, threat intelligence sharing and a joint response to cybercriminals. 

UNICC Director Sameer Chauhan at Wake Up Spain forum
Photo: Invertia

UNICC in Valencia, Spain

UNICC opened its office in Valencia, Spain, in 2012 and established it as the Digital and Cybersecurity Centres of Excellence for the UN. With over 200 personnel now, UNICC’s office in Valencia is the organization’s largest. UNICC, at its Valencia Centres, has the largest footprint of any UN entity in Spain.

When UNICC decided to establish an office in Spain, we considered the good quality of life there and the countries’ appreciation for diversity; Valencia has been very welcoming to our international and multicultural workforce. Additionally, Spain has a lot of talent, in particular in the field of information technologies, from computer engineers to cybersecurity experts.

Prado Nieto Barrantes, Chief, Business Relationship Management, UNICC

Chauhan expressed his gratitude for the support received from both the Valencia regional and Spanish national governments and highlighted that their honest belief in UNICC’s work is highly appreciated.

UNICC staff standing in front of UNICC banner during UN SG's visit to the UN Base in Valencia
Photo: UNICC/Cadinu

UNICC Achieves Gender Parity Commitments for 2021

The organization sets new targets to pave a path towards full gender parity in 2028 

UNICC has made gender, diversity and inclusiveness central to its mission. In 2020, UNICC’s Director Sameer Chauhan joined the International Gender Champions (IGC) network and signed the IGC Panel Parity Pledge. IGC is a leadership community that brings together female and male decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence. 

In becoming a Champion, he set two clearly defined objectives for 2021 to improve gender parity in UNICC, both of which were achieved within the timeframe established.

The first organizational goal was to have a fair representation of women among UNICC Directors, of at least 30%. UNICC’s Executive Committee has now a total of five members, two of which (40%) are women: Milena Grecuccio, Chief of Staff and Chief, Management and Strategy Division and Tima Soni, Chief, Cybersecurity Division.

UNICC aspires to bring gender equity and equality, diversity and inclusiveness into the digital business field. We know what a challenge it is; we know it requires a massive change of mindsets and habits in corporate culture.

Milena Grecuccio, Chief of Staff and Chief, Management and Strategy Division, UNICC

The second objective for 2021 was to have more than 30% women in all recruitment panels at UNICC, excluding human resources representatives, a goal that was also achieved and is a guiding requirement for all recruitment panels in the future.

Also in 2021, Chauhan signed the new IGC Gender-based Violence (GBV) pledge, a commitment to have zero tolerance of GBV or sexist attitudes and behavior, so as to tackle some of the deepest and most harmful norms that prevent the equal rights of women and girls.

New gender goals for 2022

After fulfilling these 2021 goals, the organization has set new ambitious objectives for 2022: to appoint a Gender and Inclusion Champion within each of the four UNICC divisions (Management and Strategy, Operations, Clients and Projects as well as Cybersecurity) and to publish and start implementing a gender parity strategy.

The long-term goal of UNICC to which all the yearly objectives contribute is to achieve full gender parity at all levels within the organization by 2028.

UNICC is tasked with delivering scalable digital solutions for the UN family, as effectively and creatively as possible. We can live up to these expectations only by ensuring we have adequate diversity of perspectives – by gender as well as by sexual orientation, nationality and race. 

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

UNICC is committed to bring gender parity, diversity and inclusiveness into the digital business field. Ending discrimination is crucial to an equitable, sustainable future and it is an accelerator towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Partners in the New York Office during UNICC's 109th Management Committee meeting.
Photo: UNICC

UNICC Partners Approve New Services at 109th Management Committee Meeting

Over 40 Partners gather in Geneva, New York and online for UNICC’s MC meeting

UNICC’s Management Committee (MC), the organization’s governance body comprised of representatives from 41 Partner Organizations, met on 6 and 7 April for the 109th MC meeting, the first of 2022.

The meeting was conducted as a hybrid, flexible arrangement where Partners could attend in person at the Geneva and New York offices or online from any other corner of the globe. 

A landmark meeting in more ways than one. We saw the launch of several new services and confirmed demand for new ones to be launched. It shows the increasing significance of UNICC as a catalyst and accelerator for the digital transformation of the UN system.

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

The meeting was chaired by Fabrice Boudou, Director of IT Solutions Division at WTO, together with Vice Chair Anthony O’Mullane, Director, Operations Support Division, Office of Information and Communications Technology, United Nations.

On the first day, the session covered statutory business, with a Director’s Update, extension of Chair and Vice-Chair mandates for another one-year term and nomination of Advisory Group members. 

UNICC partners approve new services

UNICC’s mission is to provide trusted digital business solutions and shared services to the UN family. In this 109th Management Committee meeting, UNICC presented for approval a new suite of services to meet the needs of its over 80 Clients and Partner Organizations.

New services include cloud broker services as well as a suite of cybersecurity assessment services and a revamped organizational resilience service. The new cybersecurity services will serve to better support the system in meeting the Joint Inspection Unit recommendations on cybersecurity and improve the overall cybersecurity posture of the UN family. 

UN system private cloud and data services

On the second day, UNICC Partners engaged in fruitful discussions around various topics proposed by the Advisory Group, a subset of MC members who work throughout the year with UNICC’s Director.

Partners in the New York Office during UNICC's 109th Management Committee meeting.
Photo: UNICC/Ouyang

After the ‘mezzanine view’ presentation by UNICC Director Sameer Chauhan, the meeting focused on the UN System Private Cloud, a topic already discussed in the 108th MC session in October 2021 and which continues to be of great interest to the community. 

Data and Analytics services were also discussed during the second day. Chief, Data and Analytics Division, Anusha Dandapani, presented on the UNICC Data Action Portfolio, modeled after the UN Secretary-General’s Data Strategy to nurture UN Agencies’ data capabilities and drive data maturity. 

UNICC Director Sameer Chauhan would like to thank all UNICC Partners for being active and supportive members of the MC, especially to Chair Fabrice Boudou and Vice-Chair Anthony O’Mullane for their leadership and steer.

Screenshot of virtual meeting with Break Through Tech Sprinterns and Communications team
Credit: UNICC

UNICC Hosts Break Through Tech Students Working on Cybersecurity and Project Management Projects

Annual ‘Sprinternships’ support diversity and inclusiveness in technology

Since 2018, with the goal to support SDG 4: Quality Education and SDG 5: Gender Equality, UNICC has been partnering with Break Through Tech and the ITU Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York to expand representation and diversity across gender and racial backgrounds providing networking and internship opportunities. UNICC is also keen to address helping a younger generation grow through  technology opportunities and learn about working as an international civil servant for the UN.

From 5 to 21 January 2022, UNICC hosted for the fourth consecutive year Break Through Tech ‘Sprinterns’ (cross-seasonal sprints’ internships). City University of New York (CUNY) students Carla Sanchez (Hunter College), Natalia Cortezano (Lehman College), Talike Bennett (City College) and Yirong Wang (Hunter College) worked virtually with a variety of UNICC teams to learn about UNICC services and projects, including the challenges teams face and overcome as well as the results of good teamwork.

Cybersecurity, Project Management and Communications

During their three-week stay, Sprinterns worked on three group projects involving several teams at UNICC, including Cybersecurity and Project Management teams.

The first group project was to generate a Cybersecurity Annual Report, for which two Sprinterns had to interview several team leads and specialists in UNICC’s Cybersecurity Division. The second group project involved the other two Sprinterns creating a comprehensive checklist for Business Relationship Managers to use during their pre-sales process, including considerations such as project approach, roles offered and project management effort estimation guidelines. 

For a data visualization project, a joint task with the ITU Liaison Office, Sprinterns were given data about the more than 130 Girls and Women Talking Tech interviews already published, including participants’ nationalities, thematic categories, organizations and expertise types. The challenge was to use the data to create infographics highlighting the achievements of this inter-generational interview series and shedding light on possible improvements for the future of the series.

Virtual meeting Break Through Tech Sprinterns and mock up of Cybersecurity Report
Credit: UNICC
Infographic with data of Talking Tech interview series
Credit: UNICC

Interviewing technology thought leaders

Sprinterns were also offered the possibility to organize an interview with a thought leader they admire, to learn about their paths in technology, challenges and to gather advice. 

We love collaborating with UNICC on the Winternship/Sprinternship programme! It is a wonderful way to work with talented students who bring their terrific skills and great ideas to our work as well as a lovely way to deepen work with our colleagues at UNICC. We were blown away by this year’s group of Sprinterns.

Ursula Wynhoven, ITU Representative to the United Nations, New York​

CarlaNatalia and Yirong took part in the Girls and Women Talking Tech series and conversed with technologists at LGT Financial Services, IBM and UNICC. 

Talike interviewed Venkat Venkateswaran, UNICC’s Head of the Application Delivery Unit. During the conversation, Venkat shared his journey with UNICC and they discussed their views on the future of technology.

During their internship, Sprinterns also learned about the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals through a series of presentations they were asked to deliver to their peers.

Sprinterns showed outstanding leadership, time management, creativity and collaboration skills during the short period and their accomplishments were widely acclaimed.

UNICC at all levels has been supportive of this partnership with Break Through Tech and ITU and counts on this type of mentorship programme to assist students in preparing for the real world – and one day perhaps jobs at UNICC!

Ana Ferrandiz and Esther Ferrer Presenting on a stage
Photo: UNICC/Ferrer

UNICC Women Celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 by Sharing Their Experience in Technology with High-School Students

UNICC contributes to representation efforts to inspire girls and teenagers to pursue a career in STEM

UNICC is committed to bringing gender parity, diversity and inclusiveness into the digital business field. Representation and role models are crucial to reduce stereotypes of underrepresented groups; children need to see people with whom they can personally relate to envision themselves in similar paths.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, UNICC was invited by the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Facility (UNICTF) to participate in a ‘Women in STEM’ event to encourage more girls and young women to pursue a career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

During this event, celebrated on 8 March, UNICC women together with colleagues from other UN Agencies including UNICEF, UNICTF and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) gave talks in several high-schools in Valencia, Spain, home to UNICC’s largest office and the organization’s Digital and Cyber Centres of Excellence. 

The experience was awesome! The 15 and 16-year-old students were very interested in learning more about our careers and asked a lot of questions. 

Matilde Gil, Network Infrastructure Architect, UNICC
Photos: UNICC/Gil and UNICC/Ferrer

Participants shared with students how it is to be a woman in the field of STEM, what their daily jobs consists of and what career path they followed, raising awareness about different opportunities in technology. Students were able to interact with these technologists and some even envisioned themselves following a career in STEM they had never considered before. 

Photo: WIPO

Innovation and New Technologies for Intellectual Property Systems

WIPO and UNICC explore enhanced collaboration opportunities in Valencia, Spain

Tima Soni, Chief, Cybersecurity Division at UNICC, welcomed WIPO Director-General Daren Tang on 12 February to UNICC’s offices in Valencia, on his three-day visit to Spain. 

Director-General Tang and the UNICC team toured the offices at the UN Global Service Centre (UNGSC), the UN permanent logistics base. They discussed UNICC’s Centre of Excellence and the increasingly forward-looking technology services like UN Community Cloud, cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence that UNICC offers to its over 80 Clients and Partner Organizations.

UNICC has been providing services to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for nearly 50 years. Now, culminating in this visit, the two organizations are exploring new ways to strengthen this long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. WIPO is also part of UNICC’s Advisory Group and among the top three Partner Organizations contributing to UNICC’s budget. 

UNICC, regarded as a strategic partner by WIPO, is already enabling the organization through multiple services.

WIPO visiting Valencia UN Base
Photos: UNGSC/Puertas and UNICC/Gil

As part of the tour, Director-General Tang visited UNICC’s Common Secure Operations Centre, where a specialized unit of cybersecurity practitioners monitors, analyzes and responds to cybersecurity events threatening the UN family.

It was an honour for us at UNICC to welcome WIPO’s Director-General Daren Tang to the UN Base in Valencia, home to our largest office and our Digital and Cyber Centres of Excellence. Thanks to the Spanish Government, the Valencian Community and the UNGSC for organizing and hosting this event.

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. With 193 member states, its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. 

Director-General Tang showed appreciation for UNICC’s tailored digital business solutions supporting the organization’s technology and business units and encouraged UNICC to keep pushing the boundaries in building next-generation technology solutions for the UN family.UNICC would like to thank the UN GSC for organizing Director-General Tang’s visit to the UN Support Base in Valencia.

People fleeing Ukraine enter Poland at the Medyka border crossing. Besides the efforts of national authorities and humanitarian agencies, Polish citizens and local organizations have come out in force to support the new arrivals.
Photo: UNCHR/Chris Melzer

UNICC Statement on the Conflict in Ukraine

UNICC is gravely concerned about the conflict unfolding in Ukraine and the wellbeing of the Ukrainian people. The humanitarian consequences of this quickly deteriorating situation on civilian populations are devastating and countless lives are being torn apart. ​​

Many of our Partner Organizations are providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance. If you would like to support the efforts of our sister Agencies on the ground, consider donating at this time of greatest need to:

  • UN Crisis Relief (OCHA) for Ukraine, delivering lifesaving aid at the front lines of the crisis
  • WFP, providing emergency food supplies to Ukrainian families
  • UNICEF, providing emergency response to children in Ukraine
  • UNHCR, ensuring Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe
  • UN Women, protecting the needs of Ukrainian women and girls.

UNICC joins the UN Secretary-General Antó​nio Guterres in demanding an end to violence. We need peace.

UN Secretary General Guterres Speech at COP26
Photo: UN Climate Change/Worth

UNICC COP26 ID Check App Supports UN Climate Change Conference 

COP26 ID Check app harnesses biometrics for secure, efficient identity validation

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UNICC developed an app for the identity verification of around 30,000 participants of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 that took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November 2021. The COP26 ID Check app harnesses emerging technologies such as biometrics for a secure and efficient identity validation process.

Participants use the application to register for attendance to the sessions. The COP26 ID Check app leverages facial recognition technology to compare the photo of a scanned ID card with a selfie taken by the user to verify ID.

To start the ID validation process, the user, who needed to be registered in advance as a participant in the conference, was asked to log into the app with their credentials. They were then asked to scan an identification document, such as a passport, and to take a selfie. The app recognized the first name, last name and ID number in the scanned image, and then compared the facial features of the two headshots. If they matched, the user’s identity was validated. 

Registration through the COP26 ID Check app was required for all participants who joined official meetings through the COP26 Platform.

Credit: UNICC

Attendees that were at COP26 in person could also use the app to speed up their registration process at the venue. After validation, the app generated a unique barcode that a user could show at the registration desk to obtain a badge. 

Participants without a smartphone or with low mobile data bandwidth had the option to sign up on their desktop. The conference’s support staff were also available to help users validate their identity.

The technology that powers this app has been designed to avoid fraud and ensure a seamless user experience. Winner of the Reimagine the UN Together Challenge, this widely tested technology is the same technology behind the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) Digital Certificate of Entitlement App, currently being used to streamline pension processes of thousands of retirees and beneficiaries. 

All registered participants, including representatives of the Parties to the Convention and Observer States, members of the media and representatives of observer organisations such as NGOs and IGOs, could verify their identity with the COP26 ID Check app any time before the start of the conference. 

The COP26 ID Check app was available at the Apple App Store, GooglePlay app store and as a desktop application. For training and support documents on the ID verification application and COP26 Platform UNFCCC and UNICC offered step-by-step guides