Don’t let the digital divide become ‘the new face of inequality’: UN deputy chief

Don’t let the digital divide become ‘the new face of inequality’: UN deputy chief [ad_1]

Although applied sciences resembling synthetic intelligence and blockchain are opening new frontiers of productiveness and offering alternatives to folks and societies, they pose quite a few dangers, she stated, together with exclusion. 

“Almost half the world’s population, 3.7 billion people, the majority of them women, and most in developing countries, are still offline”, Ms Mohammed told ambassadors, tech consultants and representatives from civil society teams. 

“Collectively, our task is to help design digital environments that can connect everyone with a positive future. This is why we need a common effort, with collaboration among national and local governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and multilateral organizations.” 

A fragmented digital house 

Ms Mohammed outlined areas for international cooperation, highlighting the key position the UN has in responding to what she characterised as the rising fragmentation in the digital house.   

“Geopolitical fault lines between major powers are emerging, with technology as a leading area of tension and disagreement”, she stated.  At the identical time, tech corporations are responding in several methods to points surrounding privateness, information governance and freedom of expression.   

The state of affairs is made worse by the deepening digital divide between developed and creating nations, she added, leading to international discussions on digital points turning into much less inclusive and consultant. 

‘Global town hall’ wanted 

“Now more than ever, we need a global townhall to address these issues and to capitalise on technology’s transformational potential to create new jobs, boost financial inclusion, close the gender gap, spur a green recovery and redesign our cities”, she stated. 

The UN deputy chief underlined the worth of engagement, as reaching common connectivity can’t be left solely to governments or particular person tech corporations. 

She confused that no single nation or firm “should steer the course of our digital future”. 

Development will depend on connectivity 

The General Assembly debate sought to generate political commitments to handle the widening digital divide as pandemic restoration efforts align with the push to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the finish of the decade. 

“In a world of unparalleled innovation, where our loved ones are but a video call away, billions struggle to access even the most basic elements of connectivity or live with none at all. Truly, for billions of people the pace and scale of sustainable development is reliant upon digital connectivity,” said Volkan Bozkir, the General Assembly President. 

He confused that “now is the time to act” as the digital divide, which existed lengthy earlier than COVID-19, was solely made worse by the disaster. However, restoration affords the probability for true transformation. 

“As I have frequently stated, we must use the SDGs as a guide to our post-COVID recovery.  This means ensuring that no one is left behind, no one is left offline, and that we apply a whole-of-society, multi-stakeholder, and intergenerational approach to our efforts”, he stated. 

“This is particularly important for the world’s 1.8 billion young people, who must be equipped with the skills and resources to thrive in an ever-changing, tech-driven future.” 

Mr Bozkir known as for strengthening implementation of initiatives resembling the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, launched final June. In addition to reaching common connectivity, its eight aims embrace making certain human rights are protected in the digital period.

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