The High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation will have 20 members in total and includes leaders from industry, civil society and academia, said the UN chief.

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The Panel will explore trends in digital technologies, identify gaps and opportunities, and provide proposals to improve international cooperation. Mr. Guterres noted that digital technology will change economies and societies rapidly and at an unprecedented scale and pace.

However, UN Secretariat, Executive Director and co-chair, Ambassador Amandeep Gill, noted that the Panel wants to avoid the competitive approach to digital issues that currently impacts trade, data and security.

As the Ambassador highlighted:

That competitive spirit, that mindset, could pervade this domain and does impede the potential of digital technology to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development.

Mr. Gill also presented how digitalization affects all society, from cyber-attacks to fears of election-tampering, saying that there is a need to address the potential effects on social, economic and human rights.

He explained that blockchain or AI (Artificial Intelligence) cannot be neglected. So, he hopes that the Panel will address the various digital domains, business models, opportunities and the risks in terms of human rights, privacy, and democracy.

The panel's members will meet twice; first in New York in September during the UN General Assembly, and then in Switzerland next January.