Working towards the United Nations Global Digital Compact

“Looking to the future, two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis, and digital transformation,” said United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres. The Global Digital Compact (GDC) is part of the United Nations (UN) “Our Common Agenda”, a set of commitments intended to turbocharge the achievement of the UN Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The GDC is expected to “outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all”.

Research ICT Africa (RIA) has been actively involved in contributing insights and feedback to the GDC process.

One notable aspect of RIA’s involvement in the GDC process was its submission of feedback documents on various critical issues:

RIA is also working within a range of global alliances collaborating on feedback to the GDC Zero Draft. These include the Global South Alliance, the Freedom Online Coalition Advisory Network(FOCAN) and the Forum for International Democracy. Below are some of the statements that have been published so far ahead of the Civil Society Consultation.

Africa Regional Consultation on the GDC Zero Draft

The United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) and RIA are jointly organising a regional consultation to respond to the GDC’s zero drafts. This roundtable discussion, scheduled for 7 May 2024 at 2pm (GMT), will provide text proposals on the draft ahead of the negotiations. Register for this event.

Net Mundial +10 and G20 side meetings in Sao Paulo

RIA Executive Director, Alison GIllwald, is also participating in the Net Mundial +10 which is engaged in a global consultation on an outcome document, reaffirming the continued relevance of the 10 principles for Internet governance processes adopted in NETmundial in 2014, offering operational guidelines to help the implementation of these principles in a diversity of situations, and providing input into ongoing processes regarding the evolution of the governance architecture for broader digital issues raised in other key  global processes such the Global Digital Compact process and the  WSIS +20 . 

She is also participating in G20 on the Information Integrity that is being held alongside Net Mundial +10 and will feed into the final position paper of the DIgital Economy Work Group report in June.

UN Civil Society Conference in Nairobi

RIA also partnered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and our friends at the IT for Change, Globethics, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Womenvai, LocNET Initiative, ACEF and IFLA to organise a World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) panel at the UN Civil Society conference in Nairobi. The panel will discuss the values and experiences of multistakeholderism as we go through the changes in global tech governance and emerging technologies. Please follow this link for more details. 

RIA at the Digital Rights Inclusion Forum (DRIF 2024)

Liz Orembo represented RIA in a panel discussion at last week’s Digital Rights And Inclusion Forum. The panel titled ‘Advancing a Human Rights-Based and Multistakeholder Approach to Internet and Digital Technology Governance’ provided an opportunity to engage with regional stakeholders to share insights relating to opportunities and challenges in the Global South linked to ongoing and upcoming processes. in addition to regional fora, from which the governance of the Internet and digital technologies will be shaped for the years ahead. The panel also explored the FOC’s role in these processes to advance a human rights-based and multistakeholder approach to the governance of the Internet and digital technologies.