Tech Report: The Age of Digital Interdependence

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (c), Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group (l) and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres (r) discuss how digital cooperation and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo: UN
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (c), Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group (l) and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres (r) discuss how digital cooperation and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo: UN

According to a new tech report, “the Age of Digital Interdependence,” the digital future must be safer and more inclusive. The report was released on Monday by the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, almost a year after the Panel was constituted by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

According to the UN, the launch included a “declaration of digital interdependence” on the part of the study’s authors, which describes humanity as being “in the foothills” of the digital age.

It also lays out the risks faced by mankind, such as exploitative behavior by private companies, a failure to realize human potential, and the stifling of necessary regulation.

The declaration outlines the Panel’s belief that cooperation in the digital space is paramount, as individuals, institutions, corporations and governments cannot manage digital developments alone, and that global aspirations and vulnerabilities are “deeply interconnected and interdependent.”

The report explores the ways that digital technology can help achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; how digital tech relates to human rights and security; and models for digital cooperation between different parts of society. Several recommendations are made in the report.

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Rakesh Raman