Alice Mello and Fiona Creed
The Global Consensus Toolkit is the product of a 7-month interdisciplinary Diplomacy Lab project created by CPS students for the U.S. Department of State with data sourced from the U.N. Digital Library. To date, it has benefitted from the contribution of 85 students from the M.S. in Global Studies & International Relations and B.A. and MPSA in Analytics programs. Although the toolkit was designed initially with diplomats as the end-users in mind, its relevance to a broad range of UN stakeholders is evident. These include governments and their agencies, researchers, think tanks, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups and, policy decision-makers. One of the motivations behind having a public access portal levels the policy-making playing field, particularly between the large, small, and developing nation-states. The UN is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. The UN General Assembly rule is one country, one vote for every member state. However, the workforce of each country’s UN mission varies substantially. For example, The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations has two diplomats; the Permanent Mission of Mali has a team of 8 diplomats. By comparison, The Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the UN has 48 and the United States Mission 150 diplomats. (source: UN Blue Book). __The Global Consensus Toolkit provides small and developing UN member states with information to make data-based decisions in negotiations at the UN and bilateral meetings. Most small and developing states do not have the analytical resources and workforce of the larger members. This public access portal seeks to help in bridging that disadvantage.