South Korean President calls for global digital ethics rules at UNGA 78

The President of South Korea emphasised the importance of establishing a UN-affiliated international organisation focused on digital ethics and AI governance while addressing the risks associated with AI misuse and the need to bridge the digital divide.

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President of Republic of Korea Addresses 78th Session of General Assembly Debate. Source: UN Photo Library.

During his address at UNGA 78, President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea called for establishing a UN-affiliated international organisation tasked with formulating digital ethics rules and guidelines. When it comes to digital issues, the Korean president predominantly focused on the governance of AI and the issue of the digital divide.

Ethical use and governance of AI

South Korea’s President has emphasised the importance of fair access to AI and digital technologies, along with their safe and ethical use. The country proposes the establishment of an international organisation under the UN to formulate rules and guidelines for digital ethics. To support the creation of an international organisation under the UN and provide concrete directions for the development of AI governance, the Korean government plans to host the ‘Global AI Forum’. Furthermore, the government plans to collaborate closely with the ‘High-Level Advisory Body on AI’ being established by the UN to provide a network for communication and collaboration among global experts.

Risks of AI and digital technologies

South Korea recognises the inherent risks associated with the misuse of AI and digital technologies, particularly in the spread of fake news. Failing to address this issue could jeopardize freedom, the market economy rooted in liberal democracy, and even the future itself. In response, South Korea has unveiled plans to introduce a Digital Bill of Rights, setting a vision for the future of the digital realm.

Bridging Digital Divide

Digital technology has become the cornerstone of cultures and industries today. However, unequal access to digital resources has led to an apparent economic divide. South Korea acknowledges that bridging this digital divide is crucial in addressing the challenges, especially faced by the Global South. Korea will support the digital transformation of countries with limited digital penetration and utilisation.

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