The Danish government will support the United Nation’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation with DKK 2 million (USD 300.000). The Panel is convened by Secretary-General António Guterres to enhance global cooperation to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all.
The digital age creates enormous opportunities for economic growth, sustainable development and innovative solutions across the world. However, technologies also create new challenges and divides. On a global scale, unequal digitalization could lead to growing inequalities and ultimately new causes of conflict, extremism and radicalization.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen said:
‘Technology holds enormous potential worldwide. It will boost economic growth, innovation, and improved living conditions. It will help solve some of the most acute global problems. And it will affect almost all aspects of our daily lives and make problem-solving faster and more efficient. Yet technology also brings new challenges and risks. It can be misused to undermine fundamental human rights. Global terrorist networks are perfecting their digital skills to spread extremist views. And in today’s world, if you do not have online access, you are effectively disconnected from the global economy. We need to address both opportunities and challenges head on. Neither governments nor companies can do that alone. This is exactly why Denmark has elevated technology to a foreign policy priority as part of the TechPlomacy initiative. And why we firmly support the Secretary-Generals initiative and are now putting money behind it.’
Denmark’s contribution will ensure that recommendations from developing countries are included in the Panel’s work through consultations in Africa and Asia, and it will promote capacity building where it matters the most. The voice of our partners in developing countries is particularly important in the context of the Digital Panel.
Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs said:
‘Around four billion people are online today. Nowhere is the digital revolution moving faster than in Africa and Asia. Smartphones and mobile payments are creating enormous potential for countries to alleviate poverty and create homegrown, sustainable solutions. But digitalization can also lead to increased inequalities within and between countries. The digital divide can only be bridged if governments and the industry work together. Through Denmark’s development cooperation, we focus on spurring technological development for the benefit of all. We call it TechVelopment, a track under the government’s TechPlomacy initiative. In TechVelopment, we have a special focus on youth and women and girls in Africa.’
Denmark will furthermore engage with the Panel through outreach to the tech industry and by sharing lessons learned from the TechPlomacy initiative.
The United Nations High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation
The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was established by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in July 2018. The Panel comprises 20 members from industry, government, academia and civil society, led by co-chairs Melinda Gates and Jack Ma. The focus is on unleashing the potential and mitigating risks of the digital age by enhancing global cooperation, including through a more digital UN. The panel will deliver its final report in May 2019 with recommendations for effective and inclusive systems of digital cooperation among all relevant actors.
The Danish Government’s TechPlomacy initiative
As part of the TechPlomacy initiative, the Danish Government last year appointed the World’s first Tech Ambassador with a global mandate and physical presence in Silicon Valley, Copenhagen and Beijing. The Tech Ambassador’s role is to engage in a dialogue and collaboration with the tech-industry on a broad range of topics of importance for Denmark and globally. As one of the most digitalized countries in the world, Denmark has a lot at stake in the digital area, and are working to promote closer collaboration on risks as well as opportunities.
Read more about the TechPlomacy initiative.