Catch up with digital tech: UN chief to member states

Catch up with digital tech: UN chief to member states

Agency News

United Nations, June 11: The Secretary-General António Guterres at an informal meeting of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters urged Member States to closely study the Tech report, and expressed his hopes that it will stimulate an urgent and open debate between governments, the private sector, civil society and others on how we move forward together safely in the age of digital interdependence.

The United Nations itself, as the “multilateral system of the digital age”, said the UN Chief, is “unprepared and needs to catch up”, he said, adding that, every day, he sees ways that digital tech can help the UN to achieve its mission of peace, human rights and sustainable development.

“The international community is failing to meet its responsibilities. The systems for governance of digital technology are old, fragmented and reactive. The longer we wait to update these systems, the further we will fall behind” said the UN chief. He also thinks that technology can cause threats to the mission.

The 20-strong High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation is co-chaired by Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of the Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group, and Melinda Gates, co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with members drawn from a diverse group of independent experts, including US internet pioneer Vint Cerf, and South Korea-based digital marketing mastermind Sophie Eom.

The Panel was created to fulfill the UN chief’s wish to include input from industry and the private sector, as well as governments, academia, civil society and inter-governmental organizations, in tackling the challenges of the digital age.

The report explores the ways that digital technology can help achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, how digital tech relates to human rights and security and models for digital cooperation between different parts of society. Several recommendations are contained within the report, based on the three main areas including inclusivity, trust and cooperation in digital areas. (UNI)