The new High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLP.DC), appointed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, will have its first face-to-face meeting in New York, September 25-26, 2018, just before the beginning of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The Panel, co-chaired by an American woman, Melinda Gates from the Microsoft Foundation and a Chinese man, Jack Ma from Ali Baba, “is expected to raise awareness about the transformative impact of digital technologies across society and the economy, and contribute to the broader public debate on how to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all, taking into account relevant human rights norms.” Its final report will be tabled in May 2019.
To paint a picture, how the “digital future for all” should look like, is a big challenge. There is obviously an opportunity that the panel concludes with some exciting new political innovations on how to stabilize a peaceful cyberspace which enables digital trade, sustainable development as well as economic growth and respects human rights. But there is also a risk that the outcome will be just another report which will sooner or later disappear in the UN archives.
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