The scale, spread and speed of change brought about by digital technology is unprecedented and the current levels of international cooperation are unequal to the challenge. Within the space of a few months, the global health crisis has fast-forwarded digitalization across all sectors as well as amplified its core challenges.

It has also further accentuated the gaps in connectivity and digital access within, and between, countries as participation in social, political and economic activities are now mainly facilitated by digital infrastructures and internet access.

The new pandemic environment has underscored the fragmentation of responses and approaches to technology deployment and adoption. Now, more than ever, cooperation across domains, and across borders, is urgent and critical to realizing the full social and economic potential of digital technologies, mitigating the risks they pose and curtailing any unintended consequences during and after the current crisis.

In this high-level event, co-hosted by the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, the International Chamber of Commerce and Chatham House, the panellists discuss recommendations for strengthening cooperation in the digital space.

In particular, they review the UN secretary-general’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation which lays out the United Nation's vision for how to engage on key issues such as digital connectivity, human rights and trust and security.

The discussion draws on insights from Chatham House's Digital Society Initiative and Inclusive Governance Initiative which is exploring how governance processes must adapt to engage the diversity of actors critical to delivering global solutions for the digital world.

Participants

Maria Fernanda Garza, Chair; Executive Board Member of Global Networks Committee; Regional Coordinator for the Americas, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Mexico

Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, United Nations

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University; Member of European Parliament (2009-19)

Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director and Chief Executive, Chatham House