The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> JEAN‑PAUL ADAM: Good afternoon Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much to those in the room and those online. Thank you for joining us for the IGF 2022 open forum, connecting the digital dots, how the UN system is supporting digital transformation and looking toward the Global Digital Compact.
We have a number of very distinguished speakers both here in the room and online. I am Jean‑Paul Adam, Director for technology, climate change, natural resources at the UNECA. I will be moderating the session. We are joined by Mr. Dongyu Qu, Director General of the food and agricultural organisation, Mr. Junhua Li, UN Secretary‑General for economic and social affairs, Dr. Amandeep Singh Gill, Dr. Cecile Aptel, Mr. Weixiong Chen, the acting Executive Director of the UN counter terrorism Committee executive directorate. Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director General for communication and information UNESCO., Mc Director thematic engagement, special procedures, Mr. Stephen Bereaux joining us online, Mr. Robert Opp, chief digital officer from UNDP also online, Mr. Dino Dell'Accio, Chief Information Officer from the UN joint staff pension fund and who is here with us in the room on the far right and Mr. Hélèna Molinier, senior policy advisor on innovation from UN Women joining us online. We have a very distinguished panel of speakers. We have a large number of people to speak.
I will ask everyone to be brief. We will start and are delighted to be joined by the UN Under Secretary‑General Mr. Dongyu Qu to make a statement. Four minutes to you, USG.
>> DONGYU QU: I want to thank the UN entity for this open dialogue, open forum. I guess everyone understands it is significant importance to have open dialogue among all UN entities participating in the IGF to UNDESA, to me, we are all working on a very important subject to facilitate Member States for the digital transition and digital transformation.
To me or to the UNDESA, to UN Secretariat, we fully understand that we are facing challenges on multiple fronts from climate change to public health, the regional conflict or the global conflict and the economic hardship. We also engaged in using expertise to digital technologies to counter act the crisis. In essence as a global organisation, we should share our best practices. We have adopted along the way in accelerating the SDGs.
Since we are all here and to maximize our presence in the IGF deliberation, I think the IGF is a very unique platform for us to engage the work of all stakeholders, but above all we UN entities or UN team, we need to be engaged ourselves.
So from that perspective, we believe that 2.7 billion people remain unconnected globally speaking, and also more importantly being connected is not sufficient enough. The critical thing is the vulnerable groups are empowered to meaningfully use the digital technologies. Therefore we must synergize our efforts from different fronts. That's why we attach great importance to the UN entity dialogue.
I look forward to hearing our colleagues. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Under Secretary‑General and for setting such a wonderful example with being within time. I have the pleasure to go first to our panelist Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill UNSG Special Envoy on technology. I want to hear from each panelist on the highlights of their organisations in advancing ICTs and supporting digital transformations in various countries and where the UN is active and particularly in the context of developing these synergies.
>> AMANDEEP SINGH GILL: I just want to give a high level overview, I think the UN is active at two levels own the digital transformation from the perspective of the UN Secretary‑General, the Secretariat, there is the level of having absolute clarity on what's the right approach in terms of seizing the opportunities while managing the risks. So a lot of effort has gone into that over the past five years, the High‑Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, the roadmap on digital cooperation, now Our Common Agenda report moving into the Global Digital Compact to help countries think about the digital transformation in an end‑to‑end comprehensive manner.
How do we manage it responsibly? How do we make sure that it is inclusive? At the end of the day our mantra when it comes to SDGs is leaving no one behind to the same applies to digital transformation, so the high level guidance that's been coming out over the last four or five years and we build on that with the global compact. The.
The other level is where colleagues in different parts of the UN system in the ITU working hard to boost connectivity, to build physical infrastructure, the capacity, the cybersecurity standards, cybersecurity capacity, to support that connectivity in the UNBP, for, for instance, very specific concrete areas of contribution to Member States based on their needs, for instance, during COVID in the WHO again you see a new digital health strategy as of 2018 moving into specific areas where digital technologies can make a difference in terms of universal health coverage.
So it's these two levels that are working together for the benefit of Member States and all of the UN partners.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. We see clearly how the risk and opportunity are bound together and how we must address that. We would now like to go online to Mr. Dongyu Qu, the Director General for FAO and we would like to hear your view on your organisations roles in leading digital transformations.
>> DONGYU QU: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We have been affected by the recent shocks of the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine and ongoing conflict around the world as well as the impact of climate change which has highlighted the global consequence of local disruption. Today close to one billion people are at the risk of farming in variable countries and there is 3.1 billion people cannot afford this. This reality has to urgently reconsider our priorities and the need of a more resilient society. We are only a crop season away from the 2030 Agenda and we need to talk about it now if we are to reach this. AI interlinked with the science and innovation of digital technology including connectivity and data can provide answers we need.
Digital technology has a large potential to reduce global inequalities. They enable farmers to access information and price to facilitate the transaction with intermediary. They can bridge the gap between consumers and producers and they can access avoiding storage by moving commodity fast by using E‑commerce. FAO is already concluded to the Secretary‑General roadmap for digital cooperation by championing digital public goods.
Since the FAO in 2019 establish a digital FAO to manage FAO all, and we established the digital initiative and we put all of the setting good examples of good transformation of agricultural emphasis.
We ensure the rapid scaling up of the digital capabilities in support of transformation of ecosystems through the better, more timely accessible real time, accessible information, second, sustainable engagement with the farmers and shareholders to maximize benefit from new technology, three, include accessible market, fourth, access to digital enabling climate change solutions and now we have digital solutions for small island state in Asia‑Pacific. It's open to all of the members and the enhanced virtual emergency integration and social protection.
Dear colleagues, FAO ‑‑
>> MODERATOR: We are a little bit tight on time if you could wrap up in 30 seconds, that would be ideal.
>> DONGYU QU: Okay. That's good. It's more than enough. So digital world depend on digital economy and digital governance and digital society. So the FAO will be, take a leading role for the global transformation of agribusiness for better nutrition, better environment, better life. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Director General, we really appreciated the link between the adoption of digital transformations and the fight against climate change where particularly here in Africa, agriculture is the front line. We now have the great pleasure to go to Dr. Robert Opp the Deputy Director for the institute on disarmament research.
>> CECILE APTEL: Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, the UN institute for disarmament research produces research on disarmament and security issues.
As such, we have been actively involved in the topic of national ICT security for several years. Our contributions takes various forms and our activities cover many interconnected topics to help UN reach efforts to maintain peace and security as they are related also to ICTs. Our most recent activities are focused on three areas of action.
One, we support the operationalization of the framework of responsible state behavior inside the space. We are part of the team that supports the Chair of the ongoing open‑ended Working Group on ICT security. This open‑ended Working Groups made up of Member States of the UN started last year in 2021 and is mandated until 2025.
In this capacity we facilitated the regular conduct of two sessions of this group in 2022 supporting dialogue and cooperation among states. In addition, we have collected specific studies on issues such as the characterization and attribution of malicious cyber acts, national law and confidence building measures, we strengthen cyber crisis management mechanism. We have design and connected virtual and in person engagement with different regional organisations around the world to better explore the management and the policy of international cyber incidents with a view to exploring the various tools available to Member States at the national, regional and international level to manage cyber incidents and deescalate them rather than let them escalate.
Third and last, we contribute to confidence building. We continue to convene multistakeholder events on some of the most pressing issues in cyber discussion such as the protection of critical infrastructure. In addition, we continue to expand cyber policy that is a repository of national cybersecurity laws as a way of helping to build confidence measures between UN Member States.
Again, these are just some of the contributions to building a more peaceful, safe and secure world offline and online. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Mr. Robert Opp in making the link between the work D Dr. Aptel. And from that segue, it gives me great pleasure to go to Mr. Weixiong Chen, the acting Executive Director of the UN counter terrorism executive directorate and how does the work of your organisation contribute to digital transformation?
>> WEIXIONG CHEN: Thank you. I wish to highlight the following three areas. First, I think the security development and human rights are the three catch phrases of the organisation, and we should really look at the issue from these three angles, which are mutually complementary and reinforcing.
The second area, UNCTED has plea mandates, we conduct assessments of Member States, we are facilitating delivery of assistance, third, we identify new trends and challenges as well as effective practices regarding the ICT security areas.
We have found that there are many needs and also gaps in this area, so we have already recommended to the Member States for consideration of actions as well for the technical assistance providers for follow‑ups. The daily declaration adopted by the Committee in India has asked CTED to work in this area in particularly preparing the non‑binding principles.
The third area I think the UN should continue to intensify its activities and engagements with the three pronged approach which is also the three catch phrases all of Government, all of UN, all of society approach. I think in this regard, the UN global counter terrorism expect with 44 entities and with CTED inside should be one of the useful vehicles to address the security issues of the ICT. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much Mr. Chen and for illustrating how counter terrorism goes beyond simply dealing with threats. You mentioned SS assist identify, and I think this is going to be key to the work on digital transformation.
I would like to go to Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, the Assistant Director General for communication and information add UNESCO, and we would love to hear from you on the work that UNESCO has been doing on digital transformation.
>> TAWFIK JELASSI: Thank you. As you know, UNESCO is a specialized UN agency in charge of, at least the mandate says, building peace in the minds of men and women. How we do that? By promoting free flow of information and ideas with multiple stakeholders, civil society, the Member States, academia, research institutions and other key partners.
We have been advocating for a human‑centred approach to technology development and use and we have been promoting the ROAM framework, the four letters stand for human rights, open, accessible, and multistakeholder approach dealing with cross‑cutting issues. To date, 44 countries have used the UNESCO Internet universality indicators to conduct National Digital Assessment.
Contribution is the last year's UNESCO recommendation on the ethics of Artificial Intelligence which is the first normative instrument of its kind in the field of AI. More recently, competency framework on AI and digital transformation for civil servants and public sector organisations, but also capacity building, training over 24,000 judges and prosecutors on international standards in human rights, safety of journalists and freedom of expression.
Let me here conclude by mentioning our next February global Conference called Internet for trust regulating social media to ensure information is a public good and not a public hazard and public harm. We are doing this through regional and thematic consultations on such important issue.
Again, how to regulate digital platforms while ensuring freedom of speech online. It's a very thin line. It's quite a challenging balancing act that we are facing. We invite you all to join us in Paris next February for this global Conference. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I think you have illustrated as well, for example, for Developing Countries these emerging technologies, huge opportunity, but we have to manage them in the context as well of risk.
Delighted now to go to Ms. Peggy Hicks, who will also share with us perspectives on digital transformations from the perspective of UN Human Rights Office.
>> PEGGY HICKS: Thanks so much. Happy to be with you.
I think the starting point for work of the UN Human Rights Office in this sector is to really emphasize how we see the human rights framework as an essential tool, not a hammer, but a tool that can help states, companies and civil society in our efforts to navigate the digital world.
How do we embed human rights throughout the design, development and deployment of tech? We do that through working with all of the sectors, a multistakeholder approach, if you will, with Governments, with business and with civil society.
With Governments, part of what we are looking at is how we can provide technical assistance and support to allow them to address some of the critical challenges they face in regulating AI and its impacts on privacy or for example, the impacts of online content regulation on freedom of expression. Those are tough questions as my colleague just mentioned, and we have, we hope, useful guidance developed through working through the various models and but looking for very much context specific approaches.
We also think that guardrails can be set through human rights about how we use digital technology in particularly sensitive human rights sensitive areas such as in law enforcement or in delivery of public services like social protection and health. We are looking at meaningful connectivity and the need to end Internet shutdowns as part of that. With businesses we are working to make sure they live up to their principles, and we have a B tech project that engages with major companies across these platforms, and looking at how they can do their homework in terms of investigating and mitigating human rights risk before they happen, so a preventive approach.
We are lacking at expanding that project and are developing a B tech Africa approach for this year as well. And finally, we believe that civil society has an absolutely crucial role to play and we want space for them so that means protecting online space, accessing digital technology and security for them and making sure we do our part in making the digital online space a place where they can engage safely without threat of intimidation or reprisal based on their engagement online.
>> JEAN-PAUL ADAM: Thank you so much, Ms. Hicks. We have heard clearly on how we can't address digital transformations without human rights and in a manner which is inclusive and protecting the rights of individuals. We will go to Stephen Bereaux, if we can hear the role of ITU in promoting digital transformations.
>> STEPHEN BEREAUX: As the UN specialized agency for ICTs with more than 155 years of history, ITU builds on its technical expertise which has been trusted for more than 15 decades to make possible the networks and services that have ensured that initially telephones then telecommunications, transitioning to ICTs and now digital are safe, secure and effective enablers across all of our Member States.
We have just concluded our 2022 Plenipotentiary Conference, and a key outcome established that sustainable digital transformation joining our universal connectivity mandate are central pillars for the strategic plan for the coming years. We recognize that everyone together must get serious about finding a rapid way to bridge our chronic digital divides and to ensure safe, secure connectivity as a foundation for global digital transformation for everyone everywhere.
As we emerge from the last few years of lockdowns and physical disconnectedness, digital has come to the core of every single facet of our societies, every sector, industry and every Government services, and concurrently the lack of access to digital networks or services or the in the to use those through lack of digital skills or economic means is creating a new under class that ITU's latest data reveals 2.9 billion people are offline and 96 percent live in the low income nations.
Those digitally excluded risk never being able to catch up. We recognize that this needs collaboration, so recently we launched in 2021 partner to connect disability coalition with the aim of catalyzing action and commitment around universal connectivity. The pledging platform connected to that attracted connectivity commitments so far with more than $29 billion and through more than 550 pledges from private companies, Governments, UN agencies, NGO's and the broader international development community.
Some other partners because partners glue GIGA, a partnership with UNICEF, and I also want to mention the World Summit on the Information Society with the process for which is an excellent example of digital cooperation within the UN system that already exists in the global effort to achieve the SDGs through the implementation of ICT and digital‑related action lines. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We appreciate your highlighting the digital divide and need to address it and I think there is nowhere more relevant to speak about than in Africa. We would now look to move to Mr. Robert Opp, the chief digital officer of UNDP who is joining us online and we would like to hear how UNDP is leading digital transformations.
>> ROBERT OPP: Thank you very much for having me on the panel. It's a pleasure to be with you.
I think the COVID‑19 pandemic was a watershed moment for us like many others where we realized just how important the digital divide was in terms of being an impediment to development, and there is no question now that we all see digital technologies as crucial for the future of development. It also brought a better understanding of some of the risks that have been mentioned by other speakers like misinformation, data privacy, human rights online, so I think it's allowing us to move beyond the optimism we may have seen a few years back.
In UNDP that has translated into developing an ins inclusive and people‑centred approach to digital (Zoom is frozen).
In climate action, governance work, et cetera, it's really understanding how to do that. We have supported hundreds of digital solutions and well over 100 countries and our network of 92 accelerator labs on the ground. Are also helpful for this. When it comes to then looking more holistically at digital transformation, we are working with over 40 countries on what does whole of society digital transformation look like? So for example, it might be doing a readiness assessment for digital work, it might be doing digital strategy development or a national digital compact which we have done in countries like Mauritania, Moldova, Lebanon and others. There is one last thing I would like to highlight which is, hasn't come up in this conversation, although I know it's in others, which is around how can we start to move toward building a community among countries on sharing and reusing the digital approaches and architectures that are available.
So it's looking at how do we build a network and global community of digital public infrastructure that leverages digital public goods and allows us to work together as a community. And with this, we are working with organisations like the digital public goods alliance, the tech envoy's office, the partners at ITU, the Gates Foundation and others and we are currently working in about 15 countries now and scaling up architectures. So just a few things out there in terms of what we are doing. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Mr. Opp. We appreciated you emphasizing this role for national digital compacts and building on that and sharing digital architecture.
I would now like to go to Mr. Dino Dell'Accio, the Chief Information Officer from the UN joint staff pension fund. We would love to hear from you how we can implement these digital transformations in the context of your work.
>> DINO DELL'ACCIO: Thank you very much. I believe and I hope that the experience of the UN pension fund is an example of how the United Nations practices what it preaches. Internally in accordance with the UN Secretary‑General strategy on new technology, the pension fund develops its own digital transformation.
The most significant outcome with this was in 2021 when we deployed into production, a digital identity solution for more than 80,000 beneficiary of the UN pension fund who reside in 193 countries around the world.
This initiative addresses a very critical problem because for the first time we digitalize the only process within the pension fund and that being automated. It basically represented a real digital transformation because for 70 years, beneficiaries of the UN pension fund had to demonstrate that they were still alive in order to continue to receive their payment.
However this process was supported only by a paper‑based form which was annually mailed by the pension fund to the 84,000 individuals, and by them signing and returning to the pension fund using 193 postal services.
I'm sure you can appreciate how this over the years was always prone to a lot of problem. Delays or sometimes no receipt of the certificate which created situations with the fund was forced to suspend payments. This was a problem that finally we were able to address using the new technologies mentioned by the UN Secretary‑General in his strategy. We use biometrics, specifically facial recognition, and we use Blockchain.
This system allows us to provide foolproof proof of identity, proof of existence, proof of transaction, and proof of location with the added benefit of also providing proof of impact from an environmental point of view. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much for this wonderful example which I think has applications in so many countries looking to undertake digital transformations.
Our final speaker is Ms. Hélèna Molinier joining us online from UN Women and we would love to hear from you on how UN Women are driving these types of digital transformations.
>> HÉLÈNE MOLINIER: Thank you very much, there are two things that I would like to highlight among the many initiatives mentioned by UN Women. The first one is the multistakeholder action coalition on technology innovation for gender equality which was launched last year in Paris at the generation equality, and it's a space of co‑creation by exchanging ideas for exchanging experience but also for making public commitments and it has led hundreds of Governments, private sectors, civil society and UN organisations to join forces and see how we could have a greater impact in both meaningful connectivity for women and girls that are most at risk of being left behind by the digital transformation.
We have seen countries make concrete commitment to bridge and also to build more inclusive ecosystem to develop responsive technology and to fight gender‑based violence. Much of this work is now influencing the preparation of the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW, which will take place in March next year on this very topic, and it's the first time the commission will holistically review the theme of innovation and technology from a gender perspective.
It's incredibly important to shape the global normative framework in this area. We are working now with Member States, with civil society partners in the hope that this will be the occasion to send strong messages, especially on the need to explore new avenues to adopt human centric and gender responsive approach to digitalization, a much greater focus also on principles of inclusion on intentionality and systematic change. And so for this occasion, we have gathered together more than 45 experts who have prepared expert papers on the subject.
They will be put online next week and hopefully will be helpful to the community to cover a wide range of topics with a gender perspective especially we will find analysis of the gender dimensions of the digital, we will look at solutions to address stereotypes in STEM education.
>> MODERATOR: We are at time, so maybe I can give you 30 seconds to complete.
>> HÉLÈNE MOLINIER: Okay. I'm done. This paper covers also digital finance services, and many others. So thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I'm sorry we just want to have a second round and we really appreciate this insight into the gender dimensions. We now have an opportunity in this second round to go to the panelists to get their perspectives on how the whole of the UN system can work together to support the vision outlined by the Secretary‑General in the Global Digital Compact, and I'd like to start with Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill to hear thoughts and I would invite each panelist if we could remain within time to focus on one thing because then we can put that together as one of the outcomes as part of the UN delivering on this very important instrument.
>> AMANDEEP SINGH GILL: I think we have two very important events coming up in 2023, the midterm review of the SDGs and in 2024 the Summit of the Future at which a Global Digital Compact has been proposed to be adopted. This is a unique opportunity for different UN organisations who as you heard today are doing commendable work both on the opportunities side but also on managing the risks and addressing misuse to come together and present a more compelling and more ambitious set of initiatives to Member States.
For instance, I think we need an end‑to‑end vision, a common blueprint of sorts on the digital transformation which combines the capacities, the efforts of different UN organisations and makes them available at the country level for the benefit of Member States. Similarly, we need to move to the next stage of deploying data for addressing specific SDGs, the green transition, agriculture food security, health, so pooling data together in line with the common vision, the digital common vision, the data common vision that the SG has laid out.
And finally the Global Digital Compact is an opportunity to refresh our thinking on norms, on principles, shared principles. That can then be landed in the practice of both Governments and other stakeholders so that the digital transformation works for everyone and respects human rights and human agency.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Secretary‑General, I am delighted to go to Mr. Dongyu Qu from FAO online to get your thoughts on what is the priority to deliver on the Global Digital Compact? Mr. Dongyu Qu? It seems like we have lost you for now. So we will go back to Ms. Aptel.
>> CECILE APTEL: There are several priorities and one of them is it to keep the cyber domain safe. We have seen, so that they can then be the maximization of the potential for Member States in cyber transformation and digital transformation.
I think it's important to really see that the UN system entities can work together in support of the Global Digital Compact and in fact they do work together. I will give you just three short examples of such collaborative work, we have undertaken over the last months in cybersecurity and cyber stability. One in collaboration with UNITEL we have devised programmes that bring together 50 participants each time mostly from Developing Countries to discuss and cover cybersecurity and AI.
Two, in collaboration with UNDPPA, we have studied the cyber compensations of ongoing conflict and their impact.
Three, UNDIR is part of interagency coordination groups for which we have facilitated briefing on digital technologies in the context, for instance, of security sector reform initiatives showing the breadth of digital issues and how the UN can work together. Maybe just to conclude overall, UN collaboration toward the global digital exact is crucial to maintain peace and security in the cyber domain because responsibly managing this domain require multistakeholders and also a multidisciplinary approach.
Together we have reach different stakeholders and, therefore, wider audience, utilize and combine the different strengths of all involved UN entities, so as to best support Member States, maximize safely the full potential of digital transformation for everyone. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, and it's been interesting to see how the different strands come together. Moving on to Mr. Weixiong Chen. We would like to hear from you how your organisation sees the priority for the Global Digital Compact?
>> WEIXIONG CHEN: Thank you. I think for the security aspect, CTED together with other entities of the UN global counter terrorism global compact we were able to invest heavily into this exercise. However there are two issues I wish to stress, with the enhanced synergy and information sharing among UN country teams, and the UN resident coordinator's office with the UN entities at the headquarters, we will be able to make progress.
The seconds one is that we must try our best to avoid duplication, repetition, competition among the UN family entities because we need to strengthen our common but differentiated efforts in order to achieve the vision as described by the Secretary‑General as in Global Digital Compact. In this regard, I think the beauty of the UN family is that the entities within one UN family, they are well respected but also different functions of the entity which will help to achieve the objective of the global digital compact. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, I think the role of ensuring that information flows freely within ourselves is the first step towards ensuring that it flows outside as well.
Dr. Jelassi, from your perspective what would be the main interventions required for the Global Digital Compact?
>> TAWFIK JELASSI: I mentioned earlier work on the Internet universality indicators, our ROAM approach, our forth coming regulatory Conference on digital platforms, these are some specific projects that we believe can serve as inputs to the Global Digital Compact. More broadly, besides, of course, our work with the office of the UN tech envoy we have been working within the context of the UN Broadband Commission for sustainable development with the office of High Commissioner on human rights on freedom of speech, safety of journalists, ending impunity for crimes committed against media workers, UNDESA on the international decade on indigenous languages we are launching December 13 and this goes from 2022 to 2032, so a number of key projects which we believe are impactful with other UN entities.
I think the common denominator is how can we apply human rights online how can we contribute to a code of conduct for public information integrity, how can we create the Global Digital Compact to ensure an open, safe, accessible and free Internet? And to conclude, I think the coordination as mentioned a minute ago, the coordination within the UN family is critical for all of us in order to speak with one voice. We are not in competition, for sure we are not. We are complementary to each other, and we should really ensure that one plus one equals three, not two.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I think we are all multipliers. We are aiming to multiply efforts. Over to Ms. Peggy Hicks, from the human rights perspective how do we deliver on human rights through the global compact?
>> PEGGY HICKS: Thank you. Broadening the question a bit how we deliver on global digital rights and how we can input into the compact, I think the most important starting point is around the engagement of civil society within the process. This is an area where we have learned a lot in the last two years during COVID and we need to learn more, but we need to ensure meaningful participation and for meaningful participation to happen we have to live up to our responsibilities to provide protection as well.
And we need to really work at how we do that. We have seen that in the context of other global conferences and work and there is more that can be done. The second point I make is that I think we as the UN system have to look at how we are setting good models that can be brought into this process, and that involves, of course, human rights due diligence within the UN system in terms of our actions regarding digital technologies and we are leading an interagency group now that is working on how we can deliver better on that work under a mandate from the Secretary‑General looking at how we can all make sure that we are using digital technologies in a way that respects and eliminates human rights risks from digital technologies.
We have a session on that later here. And third, you won't be surprised to hear me say we need to look at and say we are speaking as one voice particularly in my case with regard to how we bring human rights into the process and make sure that we are not in our own actions trying to under sell or under emphasize it but looking at how human rights can be a valuable tool that can be used within the process to create a strong and effective UN engagement within the Global Digital Compact. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I know we are looking to make sure that this is a reality. Going to Mr. Stephen online. From the ITU perspective what is priority in terms of delivery on the Global Digital Compact.
STEPHEN BEREAUX: What is priority all ever us committing to the Global Digital Compact. This represents recognition of the UN Secretary‑General of the importance of digital to our future and the impossibility for our engagement in anyone's fair to encompass the true breadth of the challenge before us. Our Common Agenda has the potential to be the true game changer so what safe, secure and digital future for all. At ITU we have done work on how to achieve digital transformation, but one thing is crystal clear, collaboration between different actors involved is critical, and only by aligning our expertise across the UN can we even hope to help Governments, civil society, and industry and people to drive the collaborative effort that will achieve transformation.
For this though we need to agree on and build a framework that enables us all to cooperate more effectively both internally within the UN and with all stakeholders so that we can build digital societies on a national and global level. I think the Global Digital Compact provides this.
So at ITU we have traditionally brought together many stakeholders, our own membership is built as a multistakeholder group. But we want to help lead and help the development of digital to be a glue that binds us all and takes us Ford as a larger, fairer and more inclusive whole. I mentioned some of our specific initiatives likewise cis, partner to connect and GIGA, but we are firmly committed that partnership and collaboration is the way so we are seeking to work closely with the UN tech envoy and his office to share what we have learned and to help the office to define and devise ways that the UN can press forward with a more collective approach. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. The collective approach I think has been demonstrated already on this panel. I think there is also recognition that there is a lot for us to do and we are determined to make that happen. Moving to Mr. Opp from UNDP perspective speaking online, what for you is the first thing we do to deliver on this digital compact?
>> ROBERT OPP: Thank you, Jean‑Paul Adam, I hope you can hear me this time. Understand there were technical difficulties last time.
>> MODERATOR: Only for 30 seconds so not so bad.
>> ROBERT OPP: I assure you those 30 seconds were the most profound statements you would have heard all day, but any way I'm sure it will be okay. The Global Digital Compact is really our big opportunity of this generation to unite us behind common principles that are shared in multiple stakeholder groups. So it also allows us in the UN system to match the normative work with the field implementation.
So some of the panelists have talked about digital rights and what that means, and that kind of level, but really making it translate on the ground is where we would put the emphasis in terms of UNDP's effort in this. So it's a joint effort. The thing, the point I would make is that every country in the world is building their digital infrastructure right now. And they will either do that in a way that is inclusive and responsible and behind the sort of common principles we are talking about supported by a coherent and efficient and effective UN system or they will find another way of doing that.
So this really is, I think, needs to be the kind of driving purpose behind what we in the UN do in working in partnership to not be fragmented, but rather be coherent and strategic in our approach in really looking toward inclusive digital transformation that leaves no one behind. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I appreciate how much the 30 seconds matter when each person is only speaking for less than two minutes. I think you have underlined a critical point, in particular I think in Africa where we are building infrastructure while doing the regulations at the same time. That requires a specific type of support that I think the UN must adapt to be able to deliver, and I think there are good examples of where we are able to do so. We appreciate UNDP's role on the ground in that context.
Moving to Mr. Dino Dell'Accio to hear from you, and we appreciate the previous example, practical example from the UN pension fund and how you see the role of your organisation in delivering in this Global Digital Compact?
>> DINO DELL'ACCIO: Thank you. I will mention four elements. So first and foremost, to celebrate success. We are very pleased to be the recipient of the United Nations Secretary‑General award on innovation and sustainability.
This in turn gave me the privilege to lead a Working Group on digital transformation within a body that exists across the UN, the digital technology network. We created a specific Working Group on digital transformation to define together all of the CIOs of the not just UN entity going back to the comment I will make before to avoid duplication, to share best practices, to define what success is and to identify key performance indicator to measure and report to our stakeholders and Governing Bodies.
Third, we have a common denominator within the UN system in implementing and developing the solution, we work very closely with the United Nations international computing centre, the UNICC has a mandate to provide ICT support and services across the UN system, and this in our case was very beneficial. Indeed this solution developed by the UN and JSPF gave input to a wider broader solution. We are now working together with other five UN entities, UNIS, UNDP, and UNICEF, we are working on creating the UN digital ID for all UN staff around the world.
And this is also being recognized as meeting at least four of the eight principles of the Global Digital Compact, digital inclusion, strengthening digital capability building, protecting human rights in this specific case, digital identity, demonstrating how the physical, legal identity can and should be recognized in the digital world and finally creating and building digital trust by using for example, new technologies such as Blockchain that creates immutable evidence and record of the transaction that has been established and processed. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I think that's a great recipe, celebrate success and replicate and at scale. Moving to Ms. Hélèna Molinier online to hear from UN Women in terms of your perspectives on what a successful Global Digital Compact looks like.
>> HÉLÈNE MOLINIER: Thank you. One of our priorities for the digital compact is to foster collaboration, and what we have already launched a great statement and we launched it at the General Assembly last September. And it has not been endorsed by more than 60 stakeholders and calling on partners to place gender equality at the heart of the Global Digital Compact. We are really humbled by the support that it has received. It sends clear messages both of the process and the content we hope to see and making sure that there will be a participatory and inclusive development approach and making sure women and marginalized voices will be fairly represented in the preparation.
What we have seen at UN Women is that it is really important to bring people together for the CSW work. We have more than 15UN entities that have been coming together and prepared SG report that will be used for negotiation. It's a first, and we see that it really enriched the development of the report and it's hopefully making this type of document and then the type of norms that come out of it very much relevant across sector and useful as a building block to the compact.
I mentioned joint statement is covering a wide range of priorities that we hope to see including move forward and we will make sure that we bring people together, champion the topic, make sure that all partners will take part to the open consultation that has been launched by the tech envoy office, and provide their own individual input to the platform and be active participants in the consultation organized. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I think we have been delighted to hear from all of our panelists, and just perhaps as the moderator I will bring some concluding remarks and I promise to be within my own rules that everyone has respected with such discipline. Firstly to say I think this panel was really about the UN challenging itself, challenging ourselves to build on what each other is doing, replicated and scale it and ensuring as well that there is impact on the ground.
I think there is also recognition that in some cases we need to be perhaps more directly relevant to the needs of our stakeholders and particular Member States and ensure that there is context specific action that can be taken, and addressing this as well in terms of the types of policies that are relevant to the specific needs of countries, but which also speak to the universality of certain principles including around human rights. And I think there is a determination for us to bring all of our resources together to make the Global Digital Compact something which is an accelerator of implementation of the SDGs, and allows us to really get back on track.
I think it's very symbolic to be having this kind of conversation, this kind of challenge to ourselves here in Addis Ababa at the heart of the African Union recognizing that if we are to achieve the SDGs, it's about transforming African economies, moving away from simply having export of raw resources, but really having transformative impact and this is through digital transformation.
Thank you so much to all of our panelists. Everyone told me it was impossible to have 12UN panelists and remain within time. We started a little bit late, and we actually have ended within the hour that we had set ourselves.
Thank you to our panelists. You have done a fantastic job, all of you, and thank you as well to the audience.
We will have a photograph.