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H.E. Marco Romiti, Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, opens the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference

Aggiornamento: 22 mag

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) landscape is transforming rapidly, marking record growth while facing new challenges. Indeed, new technologies have a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Still, they can also lead to risks related to inequality, job market disruptions, and ethical considerations, calling for global mechanisms to ensure ethical AI development. 

Italy actively promotes responsible AI use and advocates multilateral efforts to regulate the digital space. International cooperation, transparency, and accountability in AI development are extremely important, along with the need for discussions among experts to gain clarity on these complex issues.

MARCO ROMITI, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, Marco Romiti thus inaugurated the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference.


“Excellencies, Colleagues, dear Friends, good morning to you all, also on behalf of Italy’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Massari. 
I wish to thank the President of the Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean (OCCAM) and Infopoverty, Mr. Pierpaolo Saporito, for his kind invitation to open the 23rd edition of the “Infopoverty World Conference” on a very sensitive and challenging topic, “AI turmoils digital processes: how to act to ensure human rights and provide e-welfare for all”.
Building on its long-standing activity, this interesting edition of the Infopoverty Conference aims at exploring how AI affects digital processes and can be instrumental in achieving the SDGs without neglecting the respect for human rights.
The rapid advancement of AI has been nothing short of extraordinary. Each day, we witness its potential to reshape our societies and economies by predicting and mitigating crises, enhancing public services, and advancing climate action. These developments hold the promise of addressing the most pressing global challenges and accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Nonetheless, such promising prospects come with their share of potential dangers, that we simply cannot ignore. The concentration of AI expertise in a handful of companies, for example, risks increasing global inequalities; the misuse of digital technologies can result in misinformation, discrimination, privacy violations, and even threats to democracy. Moreover, as emphasized by Italy at the General Assembly last September, we are dealing with progress that risks replacing human capacities with potentially devastating consequences, especially for the job market. The ethical challenges ahead of us are undeniable, and they require our collective attention.
That is why there is a critical need for global governance mechanisms to ensure that technologies respect ethical boundaries and that technological evolution remains at the service of humanity.  For this reason, this is one of the key priorities of the Italian G7 Presidency, which will contribute to defining principles for the development of generative AI both in the public and private sectors.
Italy is firmly engaged in the promotion of the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence and recognizes the necessity of a shared commitment to transparent and accountable practices in this domain.
To be effective we need to support multilateral efforts for the co-regulation of the digital space, through the involvement of public and private stakeholders, as well as independent regulators. Much work awaits us in the coming months. Italy stands ready to work with the UN to forge a path towards a future where AI serves as a tool for good results and socially beneficial applications, bridging divides and propelling us towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
With regards to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, we should encourage enhanced international cooperation at the UN promoting trust, transparency, and accountability, in line with UNESCO's Ethics of AI Recommendations, the OECD AI Principles, the Council of Europe Convention on Artificial Intelligence aiming at addressing risks posed by AI to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and other relevant international legal frameworks that already exist or are being developed. The Secretary General's High-Level Advisory Body on AI report provides useful guidance as we advocate for a risk-based, human rights-based approach to AI's lifecycle, promoting balanced regulations that foster innovation and sustainable development through trustworthy AI, including due diligence and risk management practices. All these issues are being discussed in various UN processes as those leading to the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future.
I am sure that thanks to all the distinguished panelists who are joining us today, there will be a fruitful discussion of these interesting subjects, with a view to achieving a clearer perspective of these sensitive issues. In this opening session, we will be listening to the inspiring speeches by the Italian Undersecretary of State, ALBERTO BARACHINI, the Assistant Secretary-General NAVID HANIF and the Assistant Director-General for Culture ERNESTO OTTONE.
Thank you very much for your attention.

The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference is now available! The Plan of Action including a list of projects and proposals that emerged from the discussion will be available soon. STAY TUNED!

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