Leaders TalkX: Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society

28 May 2024 15:30h - 16:00h

Table of contents

Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed.

Full session report

WSIS Plus 20 Forum Explores Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society

During the “Leaders Talk: Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society” session at the WSIS Plus 20 forum, moderator Jennifer Chung from the .Asia organisation introduced the topic, emphasising the transformative impact of ICT and the need to infuse universally held values and ethics into the digital realm. The session aimed to address collective responsibility among stakeholders to foster an information society that upholds the common good, privacy, and combats digital abuse and discrimination.

Sameer Chauhan, Director of the United Nations International Computing Centre, underscored the importance of cybersecurity in the ethical use of ICTs. He highlighted the UNICC’s role as a cybersecurity hub and the establishment of a cybersecurity fund to support the UN system. Chauhan called for global cooperation to ensure digital security and responsible use of emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, and cloud computing.

Grigoriy Borisenko, Deputy Minister of Russia, discussed the ethical challenges in the Information Society, referencing the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action. He mentioned Russia’s National Strategy for AI and a voluntary Code of Ethics for AI, which has been endorsed by numerous entities and educational institutions. Borisenko advocated for international collaboration in AI governance and stressed the need to bridge the digital divide, warning against digital neocolonialism.

Dr. Kyoung Yul Bae from South Korea provided insights into the regulatory landscape of AI in various regions, comparing the European Union’s stringent regulations with the United States’ more business-oriented approach. He described South Korea’s proactive stance on AI ethics and regulation, where the government prepares for potential issues without stifling innovation.

Ana Neves from the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development spoke about the importance of public policy in reinforcing collective responsibility. She emphasised that ethical considerations must be woven into the fabric of public policies to ensure equitable access, social responsibility, and capacity building. Neves highlighted the role of public policy as a catalyst for responsible innovation and sustainability.

Hubert Vargas Picado from Costa Rica outlined the country’s commitment to an accessible, neutral, and secure internet that upholds democratic values. He highlighted the National Cyber Security Strategy, which adopts a human rights approach, and the forthcoming National Strategy for AI (ENIA). Picado emphasised Costa Rica’s efforts to promote digital literacy and civic participation, aiming for full connectivity in indigenous populations by 2030.

The session concluded with a consensus on the importance of cybersecurity, the need for international cooperation, and the imperative to align the development and use of emerging technologies with ethical principles and democratic values. The speakers collectively underscored the significance of WSIS Action Line C10 in guiding global efforts to create an ethical information society. The discussion also highlighted the varied approaches to AI regulation and governance, reflecting the diverse cultural, political, and economic contexts of different countries.

Session transcript

Jennifer Chung:
You Oh You You Good afternoon Distinguished participants Colleagues ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jennifer Chung and I’m from dot Asia organization Moderator for this session. The session is the leaders talk ethical dimensions of the information society there is no doubt that ICT has brought about human development at an unprecedented speed and Emerging technologies have given us Society many many benefits this session will look at infusing universally held values and ethical dimensions into the digital and will focus on collective responsibility of all stakeholders to foster an information society that champions the common good safeguards privacy and actively combats abusive and Discriminatory behaviors enabled by digital technologies our high-level panel speakers will highlight the importance of awareness in the education in the use of digital technologies and education and discuss the implementation of laws and preventative measures to ensure a respectful and secure digital environment I’ll be directing specific questions to each Distinguished speaker who are kindly reminded to give their interventions within our three-minute mark To start off and level set for us. We turn first to argue and ever representative Mr. Sameer Chauhan director of the United Nations International Computing Center Mr. Chauhan, please.

Sameer Chauhan:
Thank you so much. I agree that the ethical aspect or ethical dimensions of information society are very critical When you look at the WSIS Geneva plan of action, this was one of the core values that was established So today in my opinion, we cannot speak about the ethical use of ICTs without ensuring that they’re operating in a secure digital environment So we need to have an ethical commitment to ensure that all individuals and organizations Can use the digital technologies for good with the highest security guarantees UNICC is the cyber security hub for the UN system. So we live and breathe this on a daily basis and We believe this is important not just from the perspective of ensuring the data is safe today But also ensuring that cyber security is front and center when you look at frontier technologies so we need to continue to have these ethical discussions on the safe use of frontier technologies At any given point in time there are newer and newer technologies that are being introduced Everything from AI at this point to a quantum that’s coming up on the horizon. We need to ensure that We facilitate innovation and use of all of these technologies like blockchain and cloud computing but keeping cyber security front and center So in summary in my opinion I think we need to have a call for cooperation to promote digital security Because without digital security in my opinion everything else when we talk about ethics will fall by the wayside So I think maybe that that’s the one aspect I’d like to highlight One of the element to mention here is we have recently launched a cyber security fund for the UN family In order to support all of the entire UN system and ensure they have a consistent level of cyber security So I believe this was this process and this global cooperation is important to promote digital security environment and Ensure that we’re responsive even as we deal with the most advanced digital technologies. Thank you

Jennifer Chung:
Thank You. Mr. Chauhan. Yes Cyber security front and center is definitely a good model to to keep in mind when we’re talking about ethics now I’d like to turn to the Russian Federation his excellency. Mr. Grigoriy Borisenko Deputy Minister Ministry of Digital Development communications and mass media Your excellency in today’s world Many countries are paying close attention to the operation of the Information Society and its ethical implications including the use of artificial intelligence I would like to know if Russia is following a similar approach and what measures Russia Does at the government level in this area?

Grigoriy Borisenko:
Thank you 20 years ago during the High-level summit Non Information Society in Geneva. It was highlighted That Information Society needs to be based on common principles for the common good to Avoid misuse of IT all stakeholders need to take into account All the principles are linked with the use of ICTs unfortunately in the current Information Society the use of Technology progress is often used against these principles The main strategic problems are Related to the infringement of private data Etc International collaboration in the field of AI Governance is essential for a Multi-stakeholder analysis and to have an optical use of AI for society individuals also for The Coherence of AI governance in our country within the National Strategy for AI we have a Code of Ethics for AI this Code of Ethics establishes the principles that guide our strategy in the field of AI the Code of Ethics Includes physical aspects of the implementation and use of AI technologies at every step of the life cycle the Code of Ethics is on a voluntary basis and 360 entities have signed it ten universities and institutions in Russia have signed a declaration on the use of generative generative AI we base ourselves on the principle of Collective governance and we believe in the use of soft power in our country. We have Drafted 13 Programs to pilot programs to use drones. We also have programs covering the healthcare sector in addition The AI strategy Requires Elements to counteract any negative effects of the use of AI We would like to implement Responsibility criminal responsibility for the misuse of AI this allows us To prevent the uncontrolled use of AI We’re ready to share not only our best practices But also to the experiences we have had with errors and the lessons drawn We call upon increased exchange of experience in the use of AI during the WSIS Summit and the AI for good meeting Russia urges Support for developing countries and all countries We would like to pay particular attention To the necessary Aspect of bridging the digital gap and to address digital literacy Digital neocolonialism exists and in this field There are there is a small group of countries that have hegemony over technological innovation and this is not positive this Prevents a dynamic use of data and increases the digital divide between developing and developed countries in the field of AI use we believe that we should consult it’s all efforts and stakeholders on a national and international level to harmonize our efforts to Implement the ethical principles that we have agreed upon in information society And for AI it is important to to have a harmonized approach For the development of AI for the good of people and for global sustainable development. Thank you very much

Jennifer Chung:
the the Russians perspective, especially when you’re looking at a multi-stakeholder analysis of Cooperation for AI I’d like to now turn over to South Korea from the Republic of Korea Dr. Kyoung Yul Bae President of the Korea Information Society Development Institute I’d like to think Take a look at how you view the ethics and practices of AI Why they matter and how they can be addressed and also what does the developments in AI? Regulation look like in Asia and specifically in South Korea

Kyoung Yul Bae:
Hello everyone, my name is Kyoung Yul Bae and From South Korea and KISTI and Korea Information Society Development Institute The ask no question is AI is This kind of buzzword and these days and how Any control and AI of ethics a lot of people are asking to me and What about the case? Before I present for the Korean case, let me introduce for European case and American case The European is a base it onto the regulating and very tightly there because of Not as much as a day developed by themselves of AI applications so what it is and they are very tight and Ethical and regulate and Maybe that they don’t have experience in before. But American case, a little bit different. They made an AI which is, they would like to booming it up and their business and their business supposed to be not regulated and to make the business. So under the circumstance and the last December and they just give up eight different act and last May and which is a year 2024 March and European is a regulatory of a regulating of a more type of a regulation. Then what is a Korean or Asians of case? The Koreans case is very, very simple. Is they are ready is to the ethical and regulation and they are not regulating and before that some happens. They’ll get ready for it and they made a process and they segmented every single of area. For instance, it’s like a self-driving car and generative AI and some manufacturing part and also is a small entrepreneur and small manufacturers or is a big manufacturers and depend on that and base it on those and then we just regulating differently and they get ready for it. And then until they got really and problem, then are regulating and they wait until has a problem but is that they detecting by the AI to AI. So they have a reverse of engineering on those and then they do it and better way to get ready for that and the regulating. Thank you.

Jennifer Chung:
Thank you, Dr. Bae, that was very insightful, especially the readiness of the development in the regulatory field for AI. Now I’d like to turn over to Portugal, Ms. Ana Neves, the Vice Chair of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development. What can be done in public policy to strengthen the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to promote an information society that promotes the common good, protects privacy and actively combats abuse and discriminatory behavior enabled by digital technologies?

Ana Neves:
Thank you very much, thank you for the question. So ethics is about responsibility and integrity. Ethics goes hand in hand with the responsible solutions. Attempts to develop public policies in a digitally driven society must include the ethical dimension that will ultimately lead to the integral development of society and in particular, the human person. Prior to the very depth discussions on disinformation, information integrity, privacy and artificial intelligence, the critical challenges were best identified under the headings of policy, regulation, operations and technology without denying, of course, importance of these aspects in designing functional ICT strategies. It is equally important to keep in mind the ethical implications of the use of ICTs. The ethical dimension is linked with equity, participation, access, social responsibility and capacity building. Empowerment is key, not only for the citizen but also for the institutions. So it’s something that normally it’s not discussed is the capacity building, the empowerment of the institutions as well. The common values and principles emanating from UNESCO, the European Union, the OECD, the World Economic Forum, the Council of Europe, the IEEE and NetMoneyAlplus10 on implementation of public policies in the digital age through a multi-stakeholder approach to the use of digital technologies and digital transformation include common terms such as human rights, democracy, free flow of information, freedom of expression, tolerance, cultural diversity, shared responsibility, solidarity, informed consent, privacy, data protection, data quality and integrity, transparency and accessibility, inclusion, diversity and fairness. The ethical dimension involves a sense of participation of all peoples from different cultures in order to maximize the development and use of digital policy processes for the common good. The common values and principles, I already talked about this. So I would like to underline that public policy must be seen in all these discussion of the ethical dimension as an incentive for responsible innovation and sustainability, providing a powerful springboard, another step for innovation with societal benefits. So public policy must be seen in this context as a demanding responsibility, accountability and governance. So to put an end to my intervention, public policy has to ensure that every stakeholder involved in the design and development of autonomous and intelligent systems is educated, trained and empowered to prioritize ethical considerations so that these technologies are advanced for the benefit of humanity. Thank you.

Jennifer Chung:
Thank you, Ms. Neves. It’s actually very important to do underlined social responsibility, especially when you’re talking about ethics in ICTs, also really, of course, in public policies as well. Now I’d like to turn over to our remote speakers. From Syria, we have His Excellency EngineerIyad Al Khatib, Minister from the Ministry of Communications and Technology. As you know, Your Excellency, as technology continues to advance, new ethical challenges arise. For example, the ethical implications of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics and other emerging technologies need to be carefully considered to ensure their development and use align with ethical principles and societal values. Could you please conduct the ethical use of AI and data? Thank you. Yes, Your Excellency, please. And actually now I think we have on screen with us from Costa Rica, His Excellency, Mr. Hubert Vargas Picado, the Vice Minister of Telecommunications from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications. How does Costa Rica manage its status as a small country with the positions it has regarding an accessible, neutral, secure internet that guarantees democratic values?

Hubert Vargas Picado:
Well, good afternoon, Your Excellency. Well, Costa Rica is obviously a small country, but in parallel, we are a country of important statements. As a nation committed to peace, for example, we devoid of a standing army. And as a nation committed with human rights, we believe in network neutrality. And because of recent events, sadly recent events, we have encountered the harsh reality that cyber criminals exploit vulnerabilities without respect for national boundaries. And so because of that, we actually firmly believe in a secure internet and in a secure use of technology for our citizens. In response to these challenges, as a country, we have embarked on a series of strategic initiatives and public policies aimed at leveraging technology to enhance the lives of our citizens and to promote the secure use of internet and technology as well. I want to highlight the recent launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy, which is a comprehensive public policy document that articulates a strategic vision for cyber security for all the country with a focus on the public administration. And this strategy employs an efficient institutional model aimed at enhancing the leadership of the national government and fostering the engagement of all stakeholders. But as a main point, it embraces a human rights approach and is aligned with the main goal of building an inclusive society across all dimensions on the Costa Rican way of living. Also, just weeks ahead, we are going to launch the ENIA, which is the National Strategy for AI, which is a policy compendium that will allow Costa Rica to remain resolute in its commitment to addressing these challenges and enhancing the wellbeing of our citizens with the diligent and prudent application of technology and frontier technologies. As a comprehensive policy, as a comprehensive way of governing, all of our efforts are guided by our democratic values, which are at the core of our technology policies. We strive to ensure free access to information and enable citizens to fully exercise the digital rights. This includes initiatives to promote digital literacy and civic participation through online platforms. We’re actually working strongly to achieve a full connectivity in indigenous populations just before 2030. So in sum, despite our small size, we have adopted a comprehensive approach to ensure accessible, neutral, but also secure and democratic Internet and technology. So this is a summary of our view, and it’s an honor to be here. Thank you.

Jennifer Chung:
Thank you very much, Costa Rica. It’s actually quite important to remember that values to be rooted in some democratic framework is also important, especially from a country that is from Costa Rica, of course. I’d like to remind us all that, of course, globally you can see the values, the ethical values needs to be rooted in the framework of all of the development here. And the WSIS Action Line C10 is clearly evidenced by all of their distinguished speakers. It is really the core of how we look to information society as well. I hope that you have taken a lot from our distinguished speakers, and I hope the conversation still carries on as well, wishing you all a very fruitful WSIS Plus 20, a high-level event and forum. And before our speakers leave, I’ve been told by the staff if we could just stay for a quick photo, and then we will go on to the next panel. Is that correct? Yes. Thank you very much, and a round of applause. Thank you.


Ana Neves

Speech speed

137 words per minute

Speech length

449 words

Speech time

197 secs


Grigoriy Borisenko

Speech speed

147 words per minute

Speech length

545 words

Speech time

222 secs


Hubert Vargas Picado

Speech speed

138 words per minute

Speech length

472 words

Speech time

205 secs


Jennifer Chung

Speech speed

155 words per minute

Speech length

935 words

Speech time

362 secs


Kyoung Yul Bae

Speech speed

149 words per minute

Speech length

402 words

Speech time

162 secs


Sameer Chauhan

Speech speed

194 words per minute

Speech length

367 words

Speech time

113 secs