Question 5

How can the UN establish a clearer framework on internet governance, and respond to new threats (including new weapons)? How can we strike the right balance between liberty and security online? Who sets the rules? How do we ensure that big tech companies are part of the solution, not part of the problem? How can non-proliferation guidelines evolve in response to new methods of destruction?

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  • Khaleifa Mohamed AlRayssi

    A lot of changes have taken place as far as technology is concerned in the last decade. The most notable development is the internet. With the availability of smartphones, more people can access the internet. We have a lot of information at our disposal, more than we could process. All this information could make us or destroy us. For this reason, it is necessary that there is a clear guideline put in place to ensure that access to the internet promotes safety other than insecurity. The UN has had to change its ways of carrying out its objectives which are to unite all nations and foster international peace and security and to promote the social and economic development of all by making use of technology.

    The UN can establish a clearer framework on internet governance, and respond to new threats including new weapons in several ways. The UNSG ought to set out a simple, compelling case for the UN as the spiritual home for global citizenship, existing together, and universal values and make it continually and repeatedly. The UN also should put in place clearer rules that will protect the creative industries from counterfeiting, which is cybercrime. It should encourage sharing of ideas rather than stealing them. The UN peacekeeping mission should be armed with the right technology. This comprises cloud based information platform, and the peacekeepers on the ground should have advanced mobile devices. Taking this step will help a great deal to counteract warfare which has always been the drive for technological change as humans device more ingenious ways of killing each other.

    The right balance between liberty and security online is a matter of great importance. It can be achieved in a number of ways. One is the UN should develop a new Geneva Convention for action by governments that are in cyberspace. Acceptable and unacceptable behavior should be defined and penalties for doing that which is wrong defined. The UN agencies charged with challenging incitement and intolerance should commit a greater part of their time and energy in tackling online hate. The UNOHCR should give a universal declaration of digital rights.

    It is the role of the UN to set the rules on internet governance. The reason is, the internet is a global platform, and therefore one nation cannot be responsible for its governance. The UN is the greatest force for good in the world, and it is therefore tasked with the role of uniting all nations and promoting their peaceful coexistence.

    It should be ensured that big technology companies are part of the solution and not the problem. This can be done by various practices. The UNSG ought to chair an Innovation Panel with the premier technology companies to talk about how they can be of aid to the UN delivering its mandate. The UN DSG should lead a partnership with technology companies to get the world online. Also, the UN should commission and support innovative contribution to charity. UNHCR should work with technology companies to come up with a more exhaustive data modelling for migrant and refugee flows, and make use of this as the basis to compel public information campaign that deals with misconceptions. The UN also, should lead work on an individual digital identity, and push talks on interoperability between social networks.

    In conclusion, the UN should take advantage of the great opportunities presented by networked age and counter its threats to serve the global community better. This is by the establishment of a clear framework on internet governance and by working with the leading technology companies