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UN High-Level Panel for Digital Cooperation

The digital age requires more, not less, international cooperation to unleash the opportunities and address the risks of emerging technologies. For this reason, Denmark has actively contributed to the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Digital Cooperation established in 2018.

Un Panel

After nine months of work, the HLP consisting of 20 members and Co-chairs Melinda Gates and Jack Ma delivered its recommendations to UN Secretary-General António Guterres in June 2019. The final report was entitled: The Age of Digital Interdependence PDF Icon 24x24

Denmark has supported the HLP process since the very beginning, and on October 3, 2019, the Danish Government submitted its initial comments to the HLP report. Read the comments here PDF Icon 24x24

Foreign Minister of Denmark Jeppe Kofod stated:

“Technology has become ‘high politics’ with an influence on global power balances. Countries are competing for mastering artificial intelligence. Digital infrastructure has become a foreign policy tool and is increasingly being used as leverage. And technological solutions has the potential to be misused to violate human rights and democratic processes.”

It is for this reason Denmark has elevated technology to a foreign and security policy priority through the establishment of the TechPlomacy initiative. Minister Kofod continues:

“We need to shape the trajectory of digital transformation jointly in a spirit of more, not less, international cooperation. Deepened multilateral cooperation is necessary at a point in time where technology emerges as a strong geopolitical factor and the rule-based international community is under pressure.”

Denmark’s position on the specific proposals of the report are cross-governmental in nature. It is grounded in Denmark’s firm belief in the importance of preserving and promoting a free, secure and open internet as well as human rights and democracy in an increasingly digital 21st century.

Industry engagement key to find common solutions   

Denmark has contributed to the Panel’s work in other ways as well. In December 2018, the Office of Denmark’s Tech Ambassador hosted HLP members during a visit to Silicon Valley to engage in direct discussions with industry leaders. The Panel also travelled to Copenhagen to participate in the Techfestival, a yearly gathering to discuss the human impacts of technology. 

Furthermore, Denmark has provided specific financial support to the HLP in order to facilitate discussions and exchanges with key stakeholders in developing countries. Closing the digital divide in and between countries and regions will be one of the key challenges in the years to come.

UN Panel Graphic 2019