There is Global Compact for private sector companies to report on their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and achievements on Sustainable Development Goals. Then there is Global Digital Compact, an idea whose time has come. An offshoot from ‘The Common Agenda,’ a 2021 report by the UN Secretary General, the entity will encompass everyone in a common vision for a ‘free secure digital future for all.’
The birth of the Global Digital Compact has been set for 2023 at ‘the Summit of the Future’ if adopted by the UN member states. But Melinda Gates, Jack Ma and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres began discussions on digital cooperation as early as 2019 paving the way for the consolidation and development of the institution.
The Global Digital Compact is envisioned to be a collaborative effort by everyone and not just governments. Areas of coverage are broad and diverse, spanning from digital connectivity to digital human rights underpinned by Spectrum which allows for much of wireless connectivity to occur. Recognizing the need for more collaborative efforts amongst players in Digital Technology in harnessing and advancing the positive aspects of digital technology while minimising its risks, the Global Digital Compact will be used to get political buy-in and coordinate the envisaged multi stakeholder efforts.
At this very early stage, consultations are ongoing. The project is being spearheaded by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology working closely with the International Telecommunication Union in the initial formation stages.
Sub-Saharan Africa has seen significant growth in internet penetration in the past five years which now stands at 30%. But infrastructural challenges continue to dog the continent in its quest for more digital connectivity. The digital divide is also another key issue that should be addressed.
The Global Digital Compact hopes to accelerate solutions to these and other global issues such as disinformation and misinformation, human rights on the digital space by the year 2030.
The Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology is collecting views and wishes to hear from you. Everyone is welcome to share input for consideration for the Global Digital Compact. You can consult with others and share the collective views, or you can submit your individual views by 31 December 2022.
See what others shared! See input submitted.