UN urges greater international consensus on digital technology

'We have a critical opportunity to build consensus on how digital technologies can be used,' says Rosemary DiCarlo

2022-05-23 22:25:28


The international community must come together to forge a greater consensus on digital technologies that addresses their benefits and increasing risks, the UN said on Monday.

"We have a critical opportunity to build consensus on how digital technologies can be used for the good of people and the planet while addressing their risks," Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council. "Collective action by Member States remains essential towards this goal."

DiCarlo said digital technologies have "boundless opportunities for sustainable development; for education; for inclusion," but said advances in technology have also resulted in "significant new risks."

She pointed to an increasing number of malicious cyber actions from state and non-state actors, which DiCarlo said have quadrupled since 2015, particularly attacks on public infrastructure, including public health agencies and hospitals.

"Meanwhile, lethal autonomous weapons raise questions regarding human accountability for the use of force. The Secretary-General has made clear, machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant, and should be prohibited by international law," she said.

"Further, digital technologies have raised major human rights concerns, from artificial intelligence systems that may be discriminatory to the widespread availability of surveillance technologies that can be deployed to target communities or individuals," she added.