Last month, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the launch of a High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.



The Secretary-General has asked the Panel to contribute to the broader public debate on the importance of cooperative and interdisciplinary approaches to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all taking into account relevant human rights norms. It is expected to identify policy, research and information gaps, and make proposals to strengthen international cooperation in the digital space.

“Digital technologies make a significant contribution to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and they cut uniquely across international boundaries. Therefore, cooperation across domains and across borders is critical to realizing the full social and economic potential of digital technologies as well as mitigating the risks that they pose and curtailing any unintended consequences,” said Secretary-General Guterres.

Ms. Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mr. Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Panel, which consists of 20 members across government, private industry, civil society, academia and the technical community.

The Panel will hold its first in-person meeting in late September 2018 and is expected to submit its final report to the Secretary-General within nine months. More information, including the names of the entire 20-member panel, can be found in the full press release.

WFP welcomes this effort, shining a light on good examples of digital cooperation in the humanitarian and development sectors. WFP works with partners across the humanitarian sector, private sector and academia on efforts ranging from creating new guidelines for the use of drones, frameworks and best practices for responsible data use, and deploying large-scale humanitarian use cases for blockchain technology to show the positive benefits of new technologies.