The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was convened by the UN Secretary-General to advance global multi-stakeholder dialogue on how we can work better together to realize the potential of digital technologies for advancing human well-being while mitigating the risks.

In June 2019, the Panel submitted their report, “The Age of Digital Interdependence,” which included a set of recommendations to improve digital cooperation.

The report describes a world which is more deeply interconnected than ever before as a result of digital technology, yet is struggling to manage the economic, social, cultural and political impacts of the digital transformation. The Panel’s recommendations emphasize the need to close the digital divides, grow human and institutional capacity in the digital age, recognize human rights in digital contexts, build cyber trust and security, and agree on a new global architecture for digital cooperation.

Since the launch of the report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres participated in the Internet Governance Forum 2019 in Berlin and delivered a speech on the need for digital cooperation to preserve human rights, democracy, and rule of law in the digital age, has done several media interviews about the importance of global cooperation to avoid cyber-conflicts and a fracture of the digital space, and welcomed the efforts of several UN Member States who have formed an informal group which will look at will look at the interlinkages between digital technologies and the three pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development.

The Office of the Special Adviser UN Under Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild has been tasked with coordinating follow-up on implementation of recommendations from the Panel’s report.

UN Member States, industry representatives, civil society organizations and other entities which participated in the Panel’s engagement process were invited to provide feedback on the report’s recommendations. Over 100 organizations sent written responses and volunteered to lead or participate in advancing one or more of the recommendations, through joining a series of virtual roundtables.

More information about the ongoing follow-up process, including a list of participants in the roundtables, identified as “Champions” and “Key Constituents,” can be found at: https://www.un.org/en/digital-cooperation-panel/. Based on their experience and previous engagement with the High-level Panel, and geographic and stakeholder diversity, a number of volunteering Member States, organizations and entities agreed to be “Champions” to take the recommendations forward. “Key Constituents” bring their expertise, and work to coordinate activities so that duplication of efforts can be reduced, and progress can be amplified.

The roundtables will provide inputs and advice on the status and feasibility of advancing the report’s various recommendations, so as to inform the development of a Roadmap on Digital Cooperation which the UN Secretary-General will present to Member States in Spring 2020.

The recommendations with corresponding roundtables include:

  • 1A Global Connectivity
  • 1B Digital Public Goods
  • 1C/D Digital Inclusion and Data
  • 2 Digital Help Desks
  • 3A/B Digital Human Rights
  • 3C Artificial Intelligence
  • 4 Global Commitment on Trust and Security
  • 5A/B Digital Cooperation Architecture

If your organization is interested in participating in the follow-up process, please email digitalfeedback@un.org.