- As delivered -
Mr Secretary-General, Members of the High-Level Panel,
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
We warmly welcome the commitment of the UN Secretary-General and his High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to stimulate vital public debate on a safe and inclusive digital future for all.
We hope the report presented today will generate ideas and energy on the multi-stakeholder engagement needed to fully realize the tremendous opportunities that digital technologies provide for improving human life and protecting our planet, bringing a diversity of talent to the design table of the future. At the same time, the report calls us to work together to mitigate the risks to human rights and, indeed, to advocate the very notion of human agency that the future may bring.
Effective and inclusive digital cooperation among Governments, the private sector, and civil society is instrumental to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all, in line with international human rights law. The European Union will remain a strong supporter of cooperation in the broader UN system on issues such as human rights, security, technology, sustainable development and diplomacy through a multi-stakeholder process that preserves the open, multi-faceted and bottom-up nature of the internet, thus enabling an open, safe and trustworthy cyber space.
The European Union is a strong supporter of the UN Internet Governance Forum and we are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that it is able to fully realise its mandate.
With the achievements of a human centric Digital Single Market, the European Union has taken a leading role in the development of an open and rule-based global digital economy. The European Union supports the digital transformation in a comprehensive manner by funding participatory research, supporting innovative digital undertakings and providing an enabling environment for the industry. The European Union is pioneering the protection of its citizens through initiatives such as the General Data Protection Regulation, which is now mandatory for everyone wanting to do business with Europe.
We are also cooperating with our strategic partners across the world to realize shared opportunities. In Africa, for example, the European Union-African Union Alliance on Sustainable Investments and Jobs and the EU-AU Task Force on the Digital Economy are spearheading work to promote, over time, an African Single Digital Market.
The European Union looks forward to engaging in further consultations on the High-Level Panel's recommendations, building on the work already started with the EU Global Tech Panel.
Mr President, Secretary-General,
Our common engagement rests solidly on our shared values - peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.