The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLPDC) submitted the report “The Age of Digital Interdependence” to the UN Secretary-General on 10 June 2019. It describes a world which is more deeply interconnected than ever before as a result of digital technology, yet is struggling to manage the economic, social, cultural and political impacts of the digital transformation. The Panel’s report makes recommendations emphasizing the importance of leaving no one behind in the digital age and on how digital cooperation and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on issues of human rights, human agency, trust and security in the digital age, and with special regard to the critical issue of artificial intelligence.

In Recommendation 5 A/B, the report also calls for a strengthened architecture for global digital cooperation. It identifies gaps and challenges in current arrangements, proposes three potential options for governance architecture and calls upon the UN Secretary-General to set up an agile and open Multistakeholder consultation process to develop updated mechanisms for global digital cooperation, using the options proposed by the Panel as a starting point.

The office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, the Governments of Germany and the United Arab Emirates were named as “Champions” to facilitate this follow-up process on the recommendations related to the Digital Cooperation Architecture. In this role, all three “Champions” jointly act as coordinators of a broader Multistakeholder consultation, involving a diverse spectrum of actors, such as governments, civil society, academics, technologists, and the private sector. This process seeks to substantiate the ideas proposed in the report by convening stakeholders and gathering perspectives, identifying values, principles, understandings and objectives, and by being highly diverse, enabling inclusiveness and fostering regional balance.

The goal is to develop an “Options Paper”, which is to be delivered to the UN Secretary-General by summer 2020.

For more information on the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, its report and the follow-up process, please visit:

https://www.un.org/en/digital-cooperation-panel/
https://digitalcooperation.org/

Timeline

DateActivity
27 January 2020Start of monthly Roundtables with Key Constituents
January – June 2020

Global Consultation Process with 3 tracks:

- Key Constituents-led multilateral and multistakeholder consultations and other initiatives

- Grassroots consultations leveraging National and Regional IGFs

- Co-Champions-led multilateral and multistakeholder consultations held in the margins of existing stakeholder meetings (timeline to be determined by 27 January 2019)

End of June / Beginning of JulyOptions Paper to the UN Secretary-General