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EuroDIG’s platform to collate European views on the Report of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

What is the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation?

In July 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres established a High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, the Panel consisted of 22 international experts from governments, the private sector, academia, the technical community and civil society. Its goal was to “advance global multi-stakeholder dialogue on how we can work better together to realize the potential of digital technologies for advancing human well-being while mitigating the risks”.

On 10 June, the Panel submitted its final report titled “The Age of Digital Interdependence” to the UN Secretary General. In the report, the Panel makes 5 sets of recommendations:

  • Build an inclusive digital economy and society
  • Develop human and institutional capacity
  • Protect human rights and human agency
  • Promote digital trust, security and stability
  • Foster global digital cooperation

You find the report and further information on www.un.org/en/digital-cooperation-panel/.

How can I comment on the HLP report via EuroDIG?

The IGF, EuroDIG and other relevant platforms for inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue have laid important ground for the work of the Panel and play a key role in discussing digital cooperation and governance. At its preparatory meeting in January 2019, the EuroDIG community decided to provide for a space to discuss and assess the HLP report and collate views from all stakeholders from all over Europe on the report and its recommendations.

EuroDIG is inviting all European stakeholders to express their views via two complementary ways: here on this platform you can comment on specific paragraphs of the report and/or you can send a more holistic assessment of the report and its findings by sending a PDF document to digitalcooperation@EuroDIG.org. The comments received by European stakeholders are published here in the chronological order in which they were received.

The deadline for comments is the 30 September 2019. EuroDIG, supported by Mark Carvell, former UK government representative, will then summarise the views received in a single document and make them available to the global public for further discussion at the UN Internet Governance Forum in Berlin in November 2019 or at any other occasion.

It is important to note that EuroDIG sees this process as one opportunity to trigger a debate and exchange on the findings of the Panel and does not intend to consider itself as the only platform to discuss views on and possible follow-up actions to the findings of the report. EuroDIG welcomes other initiatives that provide for a space to discuss and assess the Panel’s report and invites all European stakeholders to also participate in these.

Possible guiding questions for European stakeholders to consider:

The EuroDIG consultation project would be particularly interested in knowing European stakeholders’ views and comments on the following proposals and recommendations described in the UN High Level Panel’s report:

  • a multi-stakeholder systems approach for cooperation and development of norms;
  • the idea of enshrining underlying values and principles, key functions to be delivered by an improved cooperation architecture in a Global Commitment for Digital Cooperation in order to increase digital inclusiveness globally and thereby contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • the need to deepen understanding of the political, social, cultural and economic impacts of digital technologies;
  • the development of a Global Commitment on Digital Trust and Security for implementing agreed norms and principles, and for increasing information sharing in order to promote greater trust in the digital age;
  • the creation of a multi-stakeholder alliance to create a platform for sharing and investing in digital public goods that would serve to expand access to digital infrastructure;
  • the need to generate more data relevant to SDGs and ensure data collaboration in areas such as health, agriculture, climate change and the environment;
  • agreement on a set of global metrics for digital inclusiveness;
  • establishment of a global digital “helpdesk”-function to support stakeholders from small and developing countries
  • the call for social media enterprises to work with governments and civil society on responses to human rights violations;
  • the need for regional and global standards in taxation, consumer protection and competition in international e-commerce and digital cooperation.

European stakeholders’ comments and views are also sought on the merits of the panel’s analysis of the existing GAPs of the current global cooperation architecture (see chapter 4 of the report), the principles and key functions for an improved cooperation architecture (see Annex VI of the report), and three options set out in the HLP’s report for improving the existing architecture for global digital cooperation:

  1. an “Internet Governance Forum Plus” (IGF Plus) institutionally anchored in the UN system to develop policies and norms of direct interest to stakeholder communities, add capacity and support specific activities through a “Cooperation Accelerator”, an advisory group, a policy incubator, an observatory and a help desk;
  2. a “Distributed Co-Governance Architecture” (COGOV) of new cooperation networks of experts and support platforms that would address gaps in existing mechanisms through focussing on coordinating the design, development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of global norms for digital cooperation;
  3. a “Digital Commons Architecture” to increase knowledge-sharing and learning and for creating synergies through a repository of norms and governance practices, with multi-stakeholder project-based tracks which are focussed on promoting specific SDGs and risks of social harms.

Finally, Stakeholders’ comments are sought on the consideration in the HLP’s report on the role of the UN generally in adding value to the digital transformation, citing for example the UN Innovation Network for sharing best practice, and the UN Data Innovation Lab and the High Level Committee on Programmes which serves to share knowledge and expand initiatives across relevant UN agencies. Specifically, the HLP invites the Secretary-General to consider appointing a “Tech Envoy” to oversee the UN’s role in advancing digital cooperation and to track progress.

Source: https://comment.eurodig.org/digital-cooperation-report/