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[2/11/17]  BUSINESS KOREAIt has been found that the United Nations International Computer Center (UN ICC) launched the One UN Smart Card project via the UN Global Marketplace (UNGM) and is going to choose a root certification authority to manage the project and the smart card soon. Proposed back in 2012, the project is to adopt fingerprint recognition-based ID cards that allow UN employees working for the headquarters of the organization and its 37 affiliated organizations to access their computers and enter the buildings. At present, the U.S. government is the only government in the world that runs this type of identification system.

The One UN Smart Card, which is the same in structure as Fast Identity Online (FIDO), is to be developed based on a public key infrastructure (PKI). Under the circumstances, South Korea, which is highly experienced in developing various application programs based on it, is expected to be able to win the project. “South Korea currently has the most advanced PKI technology based on the development of public key certificates and the country is highly likely to clinch the project if public key certificate issuing agencies and tech firms in the country participate in the bidding,” said Choi Woon-ho, former chief information security officer (CISO) at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who proposed the project.

The UN is planning to bring in the system in stages from this year onwards and provide the cards for 200,000 to 300,000 employees and national representatives by 2020. In addition, the UN is going to begin to discuss UN Refugee Cards for more than 60 million refugees so that food, tents, cash and the like can be distributed in an efficient way and terrorists concealing their identities can be better detected.

“The UN has provided paper-based ID cards for refugees so far, which has resulted in the lack of efficiency in terms of security and cost,” the former CISO went on to say, adding that the UN Refugee Card can be very helpful in many cases including North Korea.