IGF 2023 Open Forum #78 AI Regulation and Governance at the Multilateral Level

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (04:30 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (05:30 UTC)
WS 10 – Room I

Governing Digital Economy

Debate - 60 Min


Background: The development and use of systems using automation and machine learning capable of influencing the environment by making recommendations, predictions, or decisions, often referred to as “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, are transforming the world in ways that were previously unimaginable. Their impacts on societies and economies are far-reaching. Such automated systems, built on data, able to collect and process data are increasingly being used in critical sectors such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and security, and have the potential to improve human wellbeing and drive progress on SDGs. However, these systems can also present significant risks and challenges, such as bias and discrimination, lack of transparency and accountability, and potential threats to human rights. The governance of AI is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a global approach and coordination among different stakeholders. In recent years, several countries and international organizations have taken steps to regulate AI, yet the approaches taken are quite fragmented and they vary a lot in terms of strength and coverage. The UN has recognized the importance of ensuring that AI governance is human rights-based and anchored in an ethical approach. Thus, various initiatives to promote responsible AI development and deployment has been taken, such as the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, the ITU, AI for Good Global Summit and the UN’ Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. A set of guiding principles on the use of AI in weapons system has also been agreed at a UN forum in Geneva. Objective The objective of this open forum is to bring together experts, policymakers, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss the current state of AI regulation and governance at the multilateral level and identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination. Themes The open forum will cover the following themes: 1. Current state of AI regulation and governance at the multilateral level, including the role of the UN and other international organizations. 2. Current best practices and challenges on AI governance as reflected in national/regional initiatives and private sector frameworks, in particular human rights standards should be applied to AI governance, and related principles such as transparency, accountability, privacy and non-discrimination. 3. Current governance capacities at the national level, including on laws, regulations and institutions, and the need of a whole of government approach. 4. Opportunities for addressing the governance gap, also through collaboration and coordination among different stakeholders in AI governance, including governments, civil society, private sector, technical community, and academia. Format The 60-minutes open forum will be held as a panel discussion with experts and stakeholders from different sectors and regions. The panelists will share their experiences and perspectives on AI regulation and governance and engage in a dialogue with the audience. Expected Outcomes The open forum is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the current state of AI regulation and governance at the multilateral level and identify opportunities to address existing gaps through collaboration and coordination among different stakeholders. The outcomes of the forum will be shared with relevant UN bodies and international organizations to inform their work on AI governance.

1) An online moderator will be present, OSET will leverage its experience with the Global Digital Compact's consultations that gathered over 3000 online participants 2) The session will include a question time open to online participants. Online and in-person participants will be engaged via online forms they can fill in during the meeting 3) In-platform forms where available


United Nations
Azin Tadjdini, OHCHR, Intergovernmental Organization Group Doaa Abu Elyounes, UNESCO, Intergovernmental Organization Group


• Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Tech Envoy, Intergovernmental Organization Group • Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, Intergovernmental Organization Group

Onsite Moderator

Filippo Pierozzi, Office of the UN SG's Envoy on Technology

Online Moderator

Azin Tadjdini, OHCHR


Filippo Pierozzi, Office of the UN SG's Envoy on Technology


4. Quality Education
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The Session will explore how AI can be leveraged to achieve the SDGs and how to address the growing challenges of its deployment at the societal level. The discussion will cover its potential and impact on economic growth (SDG 8), quality education through new AI-based tools (SDG 4), and the innovation potential (SDG 9). However, it may further touch upon the impact and relevance of AI for a number of SDGs, including SDG 3, 5 and 10