UN to Appoint Tech Envoy in 2021

UN to Shape International Agenda on Digital Transformation

Last June, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, launched the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation.

The Roadmap identifies 8 major areas to make the digital world accessible to all, calling for connectivity as a human right.

1. ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL CONNECTIVITY BY 2030

2. PROMOTING DIGITAL PUBLIC GOODS TO CREATE A MORE EQUITABLE WORLD

3. ENSURING DIGITAL INCLUSION FOR ALL, INCLUDING THE MOST VULNERABLE

4. STRENGTHENING DIGITAL CAPACITY-BUILDING

5. ENSURING THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE DIGITAL ERA

6. SUPPORTING GLOBAL COOPERATION ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

7. PROMOTING TRUST AND SECURITY IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

8. BUILDING A MORE EFFECTIVE ARCHITECTURE FOR DIGITAL COOPERATION

The UN Secretary-General will appoint a Tech Envoy in 2021 to address all 8 key areas. The issues were made imperative by the health crisis. An office will be created at the UN dedicated to promote the on-boarding of the other 3.5 billion people in the world that are outside the digital economy, to give them access to high-speed Internet connection and to facilitate their entry in the digital economy.

The timing is also perfect because, since the 2016 elections’ meddling by chaos-promoting actors, the discussion includes now the close examination of the possible ways that technology can go awry, and how it is being used to undermine democracy, and to violate international norms of responsible behavior in in cyberspace.

The UN Tech Envoy will work closely with country-members, private sector, and civil society.

Last week, in a virtual meeting organized by the Columbia University Global Centers for the study of international relations in Brazil, Centro Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais (CEBRI), the Chief of Staff of the UN Secretary-General, Ambassador Maria Luiza Viotti, (former Brazil’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York), and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs from Brazil, Celso Lafer, together with Ambassador Gelson Fonseca Jr. (also former Brazil’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York), discussed the current state of affairs in multilateralism, the future of the UN and its importance for Brazil.

Part of the conversation was a 360 degree overview on the latest initiatives of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. If you speak Portuguese take a listen, it is a gem as all speakers do not only know their fields very well, they articulate their thoughts in clear, beautiful, Portuguese.

The UN Brief @MayaPlentz
O futuro da ONU e sua importância para o Brasil.
youtu.be/P0WTaPScE-0 Event organised by @Columbia @CEBRIonline with the UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff Maria Luiza Viotti, former Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Lafer, and Ambassador Gelson Fonseca.

Last September we interviewed Chris Fabian, Head of Innovation at UNICEF in New York, to speak about UNICEF’s Investment Fund, the new connectivity initiative, GIGA, launched in 2019, and how to finance the Sustainable Development Goals. GIGA is aligned with the UN Secretary-General Roadmap implementation. Watch: