Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard appointed member of a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

Bern, 12.07.2018 - On 12 July 2018, Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, announced the launch of a High-Level Panel on digital cooperation issues. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard accepted Secretary-General Guterres' invitation to participate as a member of this Panel. It consists of 22 international leaders from government, the private sector, academia and civil society. The Panel will draw up proposals for improving global governance in relation to digitisation.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has decided to appoint an independent panel on digital co-operation consisting of representatives of all interested stakeholder groups world-wide. It will identify gaps in the current global governance eco-system of the digital world and make suggestions for improving co-operation for the benefit of all. Through the participation of Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard in this High-Level Panel, Switzerland can bring to bear its experience in the sphere of digital governance and strengthen its role as a reliable and constructive participant in this area.

The committee, consisting of 22 members, will be headed by Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group. The panel will begin its work in August and by spring 2019 will produce a report with specific recommendations concerning the improvement of global digital co-operation. It will be supported by a secretariat based in New York and Geneva led by Amandeep Gill, India's ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament, and Jovan Kurbalija, director of the DiploFoundation and head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). Basing the secretariat in Geneva and the head of the GIP's commitment underline the role of Switzerland and in particular of the international city of Geneva as a centre of global digital policy. Switzerland has supported the establishment of a high-level panel on digital co-operation from the very outset.

Digitalisation is penetrating all areas of our lives to an ever-increasing degree and is changing them fundamentally. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things are fundamentally changing our society, politics and economics. As a result, there are more voices calling for an improved system of control and co-operation of the digital world in order to realise the vision of an information society in the service of everyone. This latest initiative by the UN Secretary-General takes these considerations into account.

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