Highlights of UN General Assembly 2020 Side Event 'Action Today for Future Generations'

Highlights from 'Digital Cooperation -- Action Today for Future Generations'

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Everyone is impacted by digital technologies and everyone has a role to play in shaping the digital future. Managing the social, political, cultural and economic impacts of digital technologies requires global cooperation – across borders, and between sectors.

We cannot reap the full benefits of the digital age without mobilizing the global cooperation needed to mitigate its potential harms. Digital cooperation must keep pace with the accelerating shift towards a digital world, otherwise we risk a growing digital divide. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored our reliance on digital technology and is an urgent call to address how we can use and safeguard digital technologies to help all people.

In the General Assembly declaration on the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, the leaders of the world recognized the importance of technology as a fundamental global issue and pledge to “improve digital cooperation” to be able to maximize the benefits that digital technologies can bring while curtailing risks. Global leaders also agreed that “the United Nations can provide a platform for all stakeholders to participate in such deliberations.”

School girl with mobile phone

"During the pandemic, digital technologies have kept societies functioning and people connected. But the pandemic has also highlighted a yawning gap in access to these tools, including vast gender disparities. The world entered the digital age decades ago, but a core challenge remains: closing the digital divide." – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Satellite dish in the desert

What we do

The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation provides a vision and steerage for a digitally interdependent world.  It lays out actions for the global community to CONNECT, RESPECT, and PROTECT people in the digital age. The Roadmap is a call to connect all people by 2030; respect human rights online; and protect the most vulnerable from the potential risks of digital advancement. The Secretary-General has also reiterated this call to “protect the online space and strengthen its governance” through his Common Agenda, including through a proposed Global Digital Compact.

The Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology coordinates the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation and will advance work towards the Global Digital Compact proposed in the Common Agenda, in close consultation with Member States, the technology industry, private companies, civil society, and other stakeholders.

This website will be continually updated. We welcome feedback via the “contact us” form.