Global Digital Compact

Global Digital Conpact

UPDATE: Digital Cooperation Day (Geneva, 25 October 2022)
The main points from discussion are:

  • shift form ‘what’ and ‘why’ to ‘what’ of digital cooperation
  • address lack of intelinkages among organisations and initatives involved in digital cooperation
  • introduction of the empty chair remining us of interest of future generations
  • shift from sharing data towards sharing outcomes of data analysis
  • inclusivity and impact – two pillars of Digital Geneva
  • need for more ad-hoc and agile approach in digital cooperation

    Full summary is available here.

The Global Digital Compact (GDC) should, according to the UN Secretary-General, ‘outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all’.

The GDC is the latest step in a long policy journey to have, at least, a shared understanding of key digital principles globally and, at most, common rules that will guide the development of our digital future.

The idea of a Global Digital Compact has its roots in:

This page is intended to serve as an access point to contextual knowledge on the GDC, including analyses, updates from related events, and information about related processes. As the consultations and discussions on the GDC evolve, we will also follow the positions of countries, companies, civil society, and other actors involved in the build-up of the Compact.

GDC focus areas

The vision for the Global Digital Compact was outlined in the UN Secretary-General's Our Common Agenda report. According to the report, the GDC could address the following issues:

  • Reaffirming the fundamental commitment to connecting the unconnected
  • Avoiding fragmentation of the internet
  • Providing people with options as to how their data is used
  • Application of human rights online
  • Promoting a trustworthy internet by introducing accountability criteria for discrimination and misleading content
  • Regulation of artificial intelligence (AI)

Development of the GDC

Our Common Agenda envisions that the GDC is to be agreed on during a Summit of the Future: 'Building on the recommendations of the road map for digital cooperation (see A/74/821), the United Nations, Governments, the private sector and civil society could come together as a multi-stakeholder digital technology track in preparation for a Summit of the Future to agree on a Global Digital Compact.'

In September 2022, the UN General Assembly decided that the Summit of the Future would be held on 22 and 23 September 2024, in New York, and preceded by a preparatory ministerial meeting to be held on 18 September 2023.  

While details on the GDC development process are yet to be agreed on, the Office of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology has launched a public consultation inviting interested stakeholders to share input for consideration for the GDC. The call is open until 31 March 2023.

Related processes

In 2022, the annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is built around five main themes aligned with proposed focus areas for the GDC.

  • Connecting all people and safeguarding human rights
  • Avoiding internet fragmentation
  • Governing data and protecting privacy
  • Enabling safety, security and accountability
  • Addressing advanced technologies, including AI

Digital Cooperation TIMELINE

  • All
  • Critical internet resources
  • Cybersecurity
    • Critical infrastructure
    • Cyberconflict and warfare
  • E-commerce and trade
  • Digital cooperation
  • Key Internet developments
How it all started
01-Jan-198314-Jan-198630-Apr-199305-Jul-199404-Sep-199818-Sep-199823-Sep-199825-Sep-199806-Nov-199815-Jan-200123-Nov-200121-Dec-200110-Dec-200304-Feb-200412-Jul-200414-Feb-200501-Jun-2005
To be continued