United Nations General Assembly – 72nd Session

12 Sep 2017 09:00h - 25 Sep 2017 21:30h

New York, USA

Event report

Leveraging the benefits of new technologies, and combatting cybercrime and violent extremism were two of the main digital policy issues raised by world leaders during the annual debate in New York to mark the start of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

View our map of countries and the references to digital policy.

 

In addition to countries, scroll further down for the references made by the UN Secretary-General, and the European Union.

UN Secretary-General

Date of speech: 19 September 2017. Access the speech.

Infrastructure: ‘L’intelligence artificielle est une nouvelle donnée qui peut stimuler le développement et améliorer les conditions de vie de façon spectaculaire. Mais elle peut aussi avoir un effet dramatique sur les marchés du travail et, en fait, sur la société mondiale et sur le tissu social même. Le génie génétique est passé des pages de la science- fiction au marché – mais il a engendré de nouveaux dilemmes éthiques non résolus. À moins qu’elles ne soient traitées de manière responsable, ces avancées pourraient causer des dommages incalculables. Los Gobiernos y las organizaciones internacionales sencillamente no están preparados para esta nueva situación. Las formas tradicionales de regulación simplemente ya no son válidas. Está claro que este tipo de tendencias y capacidades exige una nueva generación de pensamiento estratégico, de reflexión ética y de regulación. Las Naciones Unidas están dispuestas a ser un foro en el que los Estados Miembros, la sociedad civil, las empresas y el mundo académico puedan reunirse y hablar sobre el camino a seguir, en beneficio de todos.’

Security: ‘La guerre cybernétique devient de moins en moins une réalité cachée. Elle est de plus en plus capable de perturber les relations entre États et de détruire certaines des structures et des systèmes de la vie moderne.’

Development: ‘La technologie continuera d’être au cœur des progrès partagés. Mais l’innovation, aussi essentielle soit-elle pour l’humanité, peut avoir des conséquences imprévues.’

European Union

Date of speech: 20 September 2017. Access the speech.

Security: ‘Repeated terrorist attacks, also in Europe, demonstrate that the threat continues. So, we need to keep on strengthening the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism […] We welcome the establishment by the industry of the Global Internet Counter-Terrorism Forum to work in tandem with UN structures. The European Union has called on the major online companies to develop, as a priority, the means for automatic deletion of extremist content immediately after posting.’

Researchers: David Morar, Luka Radjenovic, and Sorina Teleanu. Visualisation: Aye Mya Nyein

[Last updated: 30 October 2017]

The 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) will convene on 12 September 2017, in New York, USA.

The annual General Debate will be held between 19 and 25 September 2017, under the theme ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’.

During the GA, UN member states will discuss, among other, about information and communications technologies for development, as well as developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (both issues having been previously addressed in UN GA resolutions). Human rights and sustainable development also feature among multiple other issues included on the meeting agenda.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. It is composed of representatives of all 193 member states of the UN, which meet in annual sessions dedicated to discussions on current issues of critical importance to the international community.

For more information on the UN GA 72nd session, visit the UN GA website.