The Roadmap for Digital Cooperation discusses a set of recommendations developed by a high-level panel in 2019, and provides action points for the way forward.
The Secretary-General writes that effective digital cooperation is instrumental in achieving the 'future we want' and the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda.
In 2021, an Envoy on Technology will be appointed to help facilitate a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on emerging technologies and guide the UN’s strategy on technology trends.
The UN Secretary-General has issued a roadmap to “connect, respect, and protect” everyone in the context of artificial intelligence and other technological developments.
Published as a report of the Secretary-General on 11 June 2020, the ‘Roadmap for Digital Cooperation’ discusses a set of recommendations developed by a high-level panel in 2019, and provides action points for the way forward.
In July 2018, the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was established by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to strengthen international and multi-stakeholder cooperation and contribute to the public debate on a safe and inclusive digital future for all. It was chaired by philanthropist Melinda Gates and e-business leader Jack Ma. In June 2019, after a series of in-person meetings of the members and regional consultations, the Panel issued a report titled, ‘The Age of Digital Interdependence.’ A follow-up process to the report engaging UN Member States and over 300 other entities (listed in an annex to the Secretary-General’s report) was coordinated by the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary.
In the roadmap publication, Guterres notes that effective digital cooperation “is instrumental in achieving the ‘future we want’ and the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is not something that any country, company or institution can achieve alone.”
The report makes recommendations for action by various stakeholders, in order to “accelerate global digital cooperation, seizing on the opportunities that are presented by technology – while mitigating the risks – so that progress towards achieving the Goals by 2030 can be made collectively.”
Among the action points for the way forward:
- On the UN as a convener, in 2021 the Secretary-General will appoint an Envoy on Technology to help facilitate a multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on emerging technologies and guide the UN’s strategy on technology trends, which is currently being updated. The report notes that a forthcoming report of the Task Force on the Digital Financing of the SDGs also will contribute to this discussion.
- On human rights, dignity, and agency in a “digitally interdependent age,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will develop system-wide guidance on human rights due diligence and impact assessments in the use of new technologies.
- On Artificial Intelligence (AI), the UN Secretary-General plans to establish a multi-stakeholder advisory body to address inclusion, coordination, and capacity-building for Member States.