Launch of Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation

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11-Jun-2020 02:22:13
Secretary-General António Guterres formally launches the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation which aims to connect and protect people in the digital age.

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The Secretary-General calls for world leaders to come together to “connect, respect and protect people in the digital age” and to harness the opportunity brought by digital technology and address digital instability and inequality.

He said digital technology has “enormous potential for positive change”, but it can also “magnify existing fault lines and worsen economic and other inequalities”.

He added that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has “magnified the many benefits and harms of the digital world”.

Guterres sees the UN as a facilitator and a platform to mobilise partnerships and coalitions on a global level, between governments, academia, industry and citizens.

The plan sets out eight main focus areas, including digital connectivity and digital public goods. The report said that although 93% of the world’s population live within physical reach of mobile or internet services, only 53.6% of them use the internet, and in the least developed countries, that figure drops to 19%, leaving a total of 3.6 billion people without internet access globally.

In follow-up to the launch of the Roadmap by the Secretary-General, the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General is organizing a series of meetings and events on digital cooperation, aiming to discuss the achievable and realistic objectives’ to enhance digital cooperation across the core areas of digital technologies, outlined in the Roadmap.

In particular, this series of meetings and events will focus on how the specific suggestions contained in the Roadmap, which build on the follow-up work of the Roundtables, could be advanced and implemented by different stakeholder groups, including governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, the technical community, academia, and United Nations agencies.
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