A Global Digital Compact — an Open, Free and Secure Digital Future for All

UN Secretary General: “…The present brief proposes the development of a Global Digital Compact that would set out principles, objectives and actions for advancing an open, free, secure and human-centred digital future, one that is anchored in universal human rights and that enables the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines areas in which the need for multi-stakeholder digital cooperation is urgent and sets out how a Global Digital Compact can help to realize the commitment in the declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations (General Assembly resolution 75/1) to “shaping a shared vision on digital cooperation” by providing an inclusive global framework. Such a framework is essential for the multi-stakeholder action required to overcome digital, data and innovation divides and to achieve the governance required for a sustainable digital future.
Our digital world is one of divides. In 2002, when governments first recognized the challenge of
the digital divide, 1 billion people had access to the Internet. Today, 5.3 billion people are digitally
connected, yet the divide persists across regions, gender, income, language, and age groups. Some 89 per cent of people in Europe are online, but only 21 per cent of women in low-income countries use the Internet. While digitally deliverable services now account for almost two thirds of global services trade, access is unaffordable in some parts of the world. The cost of a smartphone in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is more than 40 per cent of the average monthly income, and African users pay more than three times the global average for mobile data. Fewer than half of the world’s countries track digital
skills, and the data that exist highlight the depth of digital learning gaps. Two decades after the
World Summit on the Information Society, the digital divide is still a gulf.

Data divides are also growing. As data are collected and used in digital applications, they generate huge commercial and social value. While monthly global data traffic is forecast to grow by more than 400 per cent by 2026, activity is concentrated among a few global players. Many developing countries are at risk of becoming mere providers of raw data while having to pay for the services that their data help to produce…(More)”.