Sustainable Governance of the Internet

The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation (HLPDC) submitted the report “The Age of Digital Interdependence” to the UN Secretary-General on 10 June 2019. It describes a world which is more deeply interconnected than ever before as a result of digital technology, yet is struggling to manage the economic, social, cultural and political impacts of the digital transformation. The Panel’s report makes recommendations emphasizing the importance of leaving no one behind in the digital age and on how digital cooperation and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on issues of human rights, human agency, trust and security in the digital age, and with special regard to the critical issue of artificial intelligence.

In Recommendation 5 A/B, the report also calls for a strengthened architecture for global digital cooperation. It identifies gaps and challenges in current arrangements, proposes three potential options for governance architecture and calls upon the UN Secretary-General to set up an agile and open Multistakeholder consultation process to develop updated mechanisms for global digital cooperation, using the options proposed by the Panel as a starting point.


Illustrative policy questions

-- How can existing Internet Governance processes be adapted and streamlined in order to become more sustainable and inclusive structurally?

-- How can the processes become more accessible to people of diverse backgrounds, and in different world regions?

-- What is the role of young people in building Internet Governance structures that effectively tend to the pressing issues of digital sustainability?