While most people know about the United Nations, not many are aware of the intricacies behind how the body and its member states function. An Indian engineer has developed an open-source tool that helps users get a better comprehension of UN resolutions and gain better insight on how member states vote.
Abdulqadir Rashik’s innovation has won a global contest called ‘Unite Ideas UNGAViz Textual Analysis and Visualisation Challenge’. The contest is a joint collaboration of the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and the US Department of State.
Abdulqadir, who is also an entrepreneur, has named his tool Global Policy. The interactive tool makes it easier for people to search for and understand UN resolutions and also simplifies the voting patterns of member states.
UN resolutions are formal expressions of the opinion or will of United Nations organs. The General Assembly has passed thousands of resolutions since 1946, when the UN was first established.
Photo source: Wikimedia
Andrew Hyde, a State Department official has been quoted by the Times of India as saying, “In support of transparency and accountability, we believe that everybody, from the general public to policymakers to diplomats, should have easy and timely access to this vast body of knowledge.”
Competitions like these, that promote people to come up with ideas to make the body more transparent are imperative. For having won this prestigious contest, a prototype of Abdulqadir’s tool will be shared with various sections within the UN as well as member states.
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The UNGAViz is the sixth challenge that has been organised by Unite Ideas. Academicians, members of the general public and private companies have answered the challenge with at least 50 open source tools, some of which have already been shared with member states. Abdulqadir has also participated in a number of previous Unite Ideas challenges.
Maximiliano Lopez, an information technology consultant from Argentina, Thomas Fournaise, an information technology manager from France have taken home the second and third place respectively.