GENEVA / PANEL DIGITAL COOPERATION

12-Jul-2018 00:03:24
A high-profile group of tech experts has been assembled at the request of the UN chief António Guterres, tasked with putting the benefits of digital technology to more effective use, while also protecting against unwanted or unexpected negative impacts. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / PANEL DIGITAL COOPERATION
TRT: 3:24
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 JULY 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des nations
2. Wide shot, United Nations press room
3. Med shot, speakers
4. Close up, cameraman
5. Close up, hands writing on notepads and laptop
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Gill, Executive Director and co-lead of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation:
“He is concerned that the current competitive approaches in many areas - whether it is trade, whether it is discussions around data, whether it is some of the discussion around security issues - that competitive, in a sense, spirit, that mindset could pervade this domain and does impede the potential of digital technology to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development.”
7. Med shot, journalists
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Gill, Executive Director and co-lead of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation:
“If you look at the other initiatives in the series, you see a certain proliferation of initiatives. I think that shows you that the timing is right, that there is a feeling that this should be addressed urgently. And it’s not just Member States who are saying this; industry leaders have been telling this. That it’s time that someone at this level takes this initiative to begin a global policy discussion on the increasingly digital world that we are living in.”
9. Close up, hands typing on a laptop
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Gill, Executive Director and co-lead of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation:
“So you cannot look at ‘web 3.0’ without looking at blockchain or without looking at AI (Artificial Intelligence). So our hope is that through this discussion of these various digital domains, the business models, the opportunities and the risks and the unintended consequences in terms of human rights, in terms of privacy, in terms of subversion of democracy, we are able to come out with some common principles. We are able to come out with some common models and modalities of strengthening cooperation across borders in an interdisciplinary manner, so that we can maximize the good sides and minimize the potential risks and unintended consequences.”
11. Med shot, camera and United Nations press room.
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Gill, Executive Director and co-lead of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation:
“In terms of UN agencies and in particular ITU, so the panel will seek to work closely with the ITU and other actors in the digital domain. So, wherever we find some commonalities, wherever existing work has been carried out, in areas such as AI, smart cities, the internet of things, or new business models in the digital spaces, we should seek to leverage that. So we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
13. Wide shot, United Nations Press room.
14. Med shot, journalists.
15. Close up, speaker
16. Close up, hands typing on laptops
STORYLINE
A high-profile group of tech experts has been assembled at the request of the UN chief António Guterres, tasked with putting the benefits of digital technology to more effective use, while also protecting against unwanted or unexpected negative impacts.

Representing the body on behalf of the United Nations Secretariat, Executive Director and co-chair Ambassador Amandeep Gill told journalists in Geneva today (12 Jul) that digital technologies were the right subject for the UN to oversee, as they cut uniquely across borders, disciplines and domains, and could benefit from the organisation’s multilateral approach.

The panel’s creation comes after approximately a year of consultations by Guterres’s team with more than 120 Member States, as well as industry and civil society, the Indian Ambassador explained, noting the UN chief’s interest in the experts’ discussions.

Gill said that the Secretary-General is “concerned that the current competitive approaches in many areas, whether it is trade, whether it is discussions around data, whether it is some of the discussion around security issues - that competitive - in a sense - spirit, that mindset, could pervade this domain and does impede the potential of digital technology to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development.”

Amid the increasing influence of digital technologies in everyday life, from cyber-attacks to fears of election-tampering, the Ambassador highlighted the growing global interest in addressing the challenges they create.

Gill said “if you look at the other initiatives in the series, you see a certain proliferation of initiatives,” adding that “I think that shows you that the timing is right, that there is a feeling that this should be addressed urgently. And it’s not just Member States who are saying this; industry leaders have been telling this. That it’s time that someone at this level takes this initiative to begin a global policy discussion on the increasingly digital world that we are living in.”

Acknowledging the panel’s “modest” budget and administrative support, Ambassador Gill – who also chairs an expert group at the UN examining emerging technologies in the area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) - said that its impact would be maximised by its cross-cutting approach.

He said “so you cannot look at ‘web 3.0’ without looking at blockchain or without looking at AI (Artificial Intelligence),” adding that “our hope is that through this discussion of these various digital domains, the business models, the opportunities and the risks and the unintended consequences in terms of human rights, in terms of privacy, in terms of subversion of democracy, we are able to come out with some common principles. We are able to come out with some common models and modalities of strengthening cooperation across borders in an interdisciplinary manner, so that we can maximize the good sides and minimize the potential risks and unintended consequences.”

In line with the panel’s nine-month mandate, its members will meet twice; first in New York in September during the UN General Assembly, and then in Switzerland next January. There will also be opportunities to consult with civil society.

Geneva would be a suitable venue for the 2019 event, Ambassador Gill said, underlining the opportunity of consulting with several UN agencies already in the Swiss city that had specialist knowledge of digital issues, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
He noted “in terms of UN agencies and in particular ITU, so the panel will seek to work closely with the ITU and other actors in the digital domain.”

He added “wherever we find some commonalities, wherever existing work has been carried out, in areas such as AI, smart cities, the internet of things, or new business models in the digital spaces, we should seek to leverage that. So we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
The Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which is to be co-chaired by US philanthropist Melinda Gates and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, will include leaders from industry, civil society and academia.

Former Swiss President Doris Leuthard is also taking part in the initiative, along with Vinton Cerf, one of the so-called fathers of the Internet.
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