A GLOBAL DIGITAL COMPACT: With the right national policies, digital technology can give ‘an unprecedented boost to sustainable development’, particularly for the poorest countries, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
‘This calls for more connectivity and less digital fragmentation’ he said. ‘More bridges across digital divides and fewer barriers. Greater autonomy for ordinary people; less abuse and disinformation’. However he went on to emphasise that ‘without guidance and uardrails’, digital technology has ‘a huge potential for harm’, citing the suppression of free speech, malicious interference across orders
and the online targeting of women as examples. To counter this, he proposed that during the UN Summit of the Future, in September 2024, governments should endorse a Global Digital Compact for an ‘open, free, inclusive and secure digital future for all’ – with input from technology companies, civil society, academia and others. The compact should be ‘firmly anchored in human rights’ as ‘the only
coherent approach for a technology that affects every aspect of our lives’. The secretary-general elaborated on the three areas outlined in the Digital Compact.
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