Reports on New Tech, Local Resilience Support ECOSOC High-level Segment
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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The report on new technologies highlights both the potential and the risks associated with technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics and renewable energy technologies.

The report on resilience in local communities analyzes current challenges and opportunities for advancing sustainability and resilience at the local level.

The reports are issued ahead of ECOSOC's annual High-level Segment taking place in July 2018.

4 May 2018: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued two reports in support of deliberations at the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) upcoming 2018 High-level Segment. The reports explore new technologies and resilient societies in urban and rural communities.

The High-level Segment represents the culmination of ECOSOC’s annual cycle of work. High-level representatives from governments, the private sector, civil society and academia engage in policy dialogue, review and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development goals.

The 2018 session will take place from 16-19 July 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on the theme, ‘From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities.’ The Segment will include the ministerial meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), convening from 16-18 July.

The Secretary-General has initiated an internal strategy to strengthen the UN’s capacity to engage with and use new technologies.

The Secretary-General’s report on new technologies titled, ‘Harnessing new technologies to achieve the SDGs,’ highlights both areas of potential and the risks associated with new technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, robotics and renewable energy technologies. It aims to launch a reflection among Member States and with all actors on how to steer technology towards the 2030 Agenda, the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the values, norms and standards agreed at the UN. The report notes that governments and stakeholders need to work together, guided by the common vision enshrined in the 2030 Agenda, to harness technologies for the global good. It further announces that, based on consultations across the UN system, Guterres has initiated an internal strategy to strengthen the UN’s capacity to engage with and use new technologies to better deliver on its mandates and improve its support to Member States.

The report on resilience in local communities titled, ‘From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities,’ analyzes current challenges and opportunities for advancing sustainability and resilience at the local level. It examines actions that are being taken in support of sustainable and resilient societies by local actors, as well as by stakeholders in the national, regional and international spheres.

The publication explores: global commitments and approaches to building resilience and reducing risk; drivers of risk in urban and rural communities; tools for building sustainable and resilient societies locally; and international cooperation and partnerships in support of sustainable and resilient societies. It concludes by offering a set of key elements that have emerged as priorities for building sustainability and resilience, such as local ownership and capacities, foresight and risk planning, policy integration, and inclusion. [ECOSOC webpage on High-level segment] [Harnessing new technologies to achieve the SDGs] [From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities] [IISD coverage of HLPF 2018]


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