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Will Multilateral Governance of Digital Technology Close the Digital Divide?
Organiser: Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Group (including Women's Working Group on FfD)
Co-organisers: Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), Society for International Development (SID) and Major Group on Children and Youth (MGCY)

As the digital gap widens and worsens during the pandemic, the world in both sides of the Divide have to deal with the consequences and issues around digitalization - ranging from violation of basic rights especially of women, girls and young people, racial and gender discrimination, and breach of privacy, to political repression and manipulation and disproportional power and influence of technology platforms and companies. A few countries in the North have attempted to address some of these issues and have started to put in place regulations, including sanctions, on technology companies. Governments in the South are generally grappling with how to deal with issues that are virtual and transboundary by nature within national jurisdiction.

A number of UN agencies such as UNCTAD and UN DESA, have published trends and analysis on digital technologies to guide Member-States on developments and issues that need to be tackled. More recently, the UN Secretary General has made a controversial proposal to establish a multistakeholder body led by technology companies to govern digitalization. Amid these disparate efforts at the global and national levels, there remains a huge vacuum in governance of digital technologies that needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency to protect human rights and assert the mandate of democratic institutions over corporate interests. Digital governance is key in curbing the widening Digital Divide and contribute towards the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to Leave No One Behind.

The Side Event will provide a venue for various actors to provide insights, including present proposals, on global governance of digitalization.

May 3, 2021 05:30 PM in India

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