Today, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued his report, Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, in response to the recommendations provided by the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. The Roadmap calls upon the global community to address issues such as digital connectivity, digital inclusion, human rights, artificial intelligence, and trust and security, as well as digital cooperation mechanisms and models.
Ensuring meaningful digital access for all
For years, business has advocated for the potential of digital technologies to act as catalysts for accelerated implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the voice of business, ICC supports Mrl Guterres’s call for multistakeholder cooperation to harness the power of digital technology to chart a digital future that works for everyone.
In the context of COVID-19, the adoption of digital technologies has become critical for enabling the continuity of essential activities by business, government and civil society. From distance learning to the facilitation of e-signatures for contracts, technology has enabled business and society with solutions in response to the world-wide disruptions caused by this crisis. Despite these innovations, COVID-19 has also exposed and exacerbated the gap between those with adequate access to digital technologies and those without.
Following Mr Guterres’s presentation of the Roadmap, Ajay Banga, ICC’s First-Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Mastercard, participated in a discussion with global leaders, including heads of state and company executives. As part of his intervention, Mr Banga discussed how the rapid adoption of digital technologies has mitigated the severe economic and human consequences of the pandemic.
Mr Banga also addressed the underlying inequalities related to meaningful digital access that have become apparent due to COVID-19.
“In the next 2-3 years, the continued deployment of 5G, the proliferation of IoT, the expansion of cloud and edge technology and the explosion of AI will have tremendous impact on the ways we conduct business, educate our youth and secure our borders, both physical and virtual. But we can’t have an Internet of Everything without the Inclusion of Everyone. And we won’t achieve that unless we work together to build the system, foster use, offer access, protect it and support its growth.”
Implementing the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation
In the coming week, ICC will be participating in a wide variety of multistakeholder dialogues to discuss strategies for implementing the roadmap. Members of ICC’s global network will participate in a UN high-level discussion on the roadmap taking place on 12 June from 9:00-12:00 (EST). The conversation will examine pertinent issues related to digital cooperation, including global connectivity, digital public goods, digital inclusion, digital capacity-building and digital human rights. To tune into the conversation live, please visit UN Web TV.
Next week, Andrew Wilson, ICC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York City, will join a UN high-level discussion on 15 June from 9:00–12:00 (EST) to discuss the imperative of digital cooperation in the face of global challenges, such as COVID-19. Mr Wilson is expected to discuss the benefits of an inclusive, bottom-up, and transparent digital governance model. Mr Wilson’s intervention will be made available live on UN Web TV.
Later in the week, ICC will join Chatham House and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Digital Cooperation to co-host a high-level discussion on key issues, such as digital connectivity, human rights, trust, and security. The event, entitled, “The UN’s Vision for a Digital Future,” will take place on 17 June from 15:00 to 16:00 (BST) and feature Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General as well as Maria Fernanda Garza, Chair of ICC Mexico, ICC Executive Board Member and ICC Regional Coordinator for the Americas.
The conversation will be chaired by Robin Niblett CMG, Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House, and participants can tune in via Chatham House’s livestream and share questions and impressions via Sli.do using #DigitalCooperation.