To address gaps in global digital cooperation, the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation suggested three potential models: a strengthened and enhanced Internet Governance Forum Plus, a distributed co-governance architecture and a digital common architecture. The existing digital cooperation architecture has become highly complex and diffused but not necessarily effective, and global discussions and processes are often not sufficiently inclusive. This situation is exacerbated by the lack of a common entry point into the global digital architecture, which makes it especially hard for developing countries, small and medium-sized enterprises, marginalized groups and other stakeholders with limited budgets and expertise to make their voices heard.
Discussions among relevant stakeholders on the Panel’s three proposed models are ongoing, given the complexity and significance of the issues and the need to ensure a comprehensive representation of global voices. While there appears to be momentum in support of the Internet Governance Forum Plus model, some have highlighted the need to continue examining the other two architectures, including how various features may complement that model. Member States are considering working with a multi-stakeholder task force to pilot the distributed co-governance model at the national or regional levels.
In 2020, the General Assembly marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the beginning of the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals. Effective digital cooperation is instrumental in achieving the “future we want” and the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is not something that any country, company or institution can achieve alone.
The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was convened to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, academic institutions, the technical community and other relevant stakeholders. After close consideration of the Panel’s proposals, and with input from the multi-stakeholder round tables, the actions set out are envisaged to accelerate global digital cooperation, seizing on the opportunities that are presented by technology – while also mitigating the risks – so that progress towards achieving the Goals by 2030 can be made collectively.