Tuesday, July 5, 2022

UN/ GUTERRES DIGITAL COOPERATION

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Secretary-General António Guterres today (11 Jun) formally launched the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation which aims to connect and protect people in the digital age. Addressing the virtual High-Level Event on the State of the Digital World, Guterres said, “we are at a critical point for technology governance.” Digital connectivity, he said, “is indispensable,” both to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, “and for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.” The Secretary-General said, “if we do not come together now around using digital technology for good, we will lose a significant opportunity to manage its impact, and we could see further fragmentation of the internet, to the detriment of all.” The Roadmap, he said, “is a guide for a multilateral, multi-stakeholder way forward in the age of digital interdependence.”

The Roadmap builds on the report of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and sets out eight areas for global action on digital cooperation; namely, universal connectivity, digital public goods, digital inclusion, digital capacity-building, digital human rights, artificial intelligence, digital trust and security, and global digital cooperation. Earlier, the Secretary-General addressed the High-Level Meeting on the Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He told the meeting that “we urgently need to harness the infinite opportunities offered by digital technology in order to scale up our efforts on healthcare, on the climate crisis, on eradicating poverty, and across all the Sustainable Development Goals.” To realize these opportunities, he added, “we must move forward in the digital age with increased international cooperation based on mutual trust.” Guterres said “the digital divide is now a matter of life and death for people who are unable to access essential healthcare information” and “is threatening to become the new face of inequality, reinforcing the social and economic disadvantages suffered by women and girls, people with disabilities and minorities of all kinds.”

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