The Digital Age

Digital technologies are rapidly transforming societies. At the same time, digital technologies and artificial intelligence allow for unprecedented advances in human development while also giving rise to profound challenges. Unprecedented opportunities are created by the application of digital technologies.

Harvesting these benefits for the realization of the Agenda 2030 need to become a core objective. The Leitmotiv of the Agenda “leaving no-one behind” also applies to the digital age where the digital gaps and divides need to be narrowed and closed by improved access to digital technologies and accelerated leap-frogging.

However, the opportunities created by digital technologies also come with side-effects and unintended consequences with severe impacts on human rights.

At the same time, the responsiveness to these challenges remains slow. Politics still struggle with the dilemma to balance the need for regulatory frameworks while at the same time creating sufficient space for innovative frontier technologies to develop.

Albeit national regulations are necessary, the interconnectedness and digital interdependence of the already existing digital world demand for a multilateral and most of all a multi-stakeholder approach.

In this context KAS New York and participating KAS offices in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Washington D.C., Spain, Greece, Austria, UK, Hong Kong, Singapour, South Korea, Senegal, South Africa, PDWA/Abidjan, Kenia, Uganda, Moroco, Israel, are hosting multi-stakeholder in order to broadly discuss how the social, ethical, legal and economic impact of digital technologies can be addressed in order to maximise benefits and minimize harm.

Starting point of the discussions has been the report of the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (https://digitalcooperation.org/).  Discussion results and recommendations will be uploaded on this portal regularly and timely.