Italy supports the establishment of a new UN Tech Envoy

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NEW YORK, MAY 17 – At an Arria formula meeting of the Security Council on the “Impact of Emerging Technologies on International Peace & Security”, Italy expressed support for the initiative of the Secretary General to establish the figure of a new UN Tech Envoy as the focal point and coordination hub for the activities carried out by the actors of the UN system in this field.

Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affaires, Stefano Stefanile, recalled the need to fully seize the opportunities of digital technology while preventing its malicious use and countering its possible adverse implications: “Technological development and scientific progress are critical for the well-being of humanity and to promote peace and sustainable development. However, we need to fully seize the opportunities of digital technology while preventing its malicious use and countering its possible adverse implications”.

Emerging technologies can be key in advancing the efficiency of peacekeeping operations and counterterrorism, whose primary goal is saving lives. “As a significant Troop Contributing Country and a member of the relevant Group of Friends recently established in New York, we attach particular importance to the safety and efficiency of the UN peacekeeping Missions. In line with the Action for Peacekeeping Initiative, we provide our contribution in bringing greater innovation and new technologies into UN missions, by regularly pledging valuable units and assets to the ‘UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System’. We are also proud to host the UN Global Service Center in Brindisi, a cutting-edge structure which ensures a fundamental support to UN operations in the field of logistics, technologies and telecommunications.

It is however important to advance, at the same time, the global debate on responsible civilian and military use of new technologies. The global debate and the collective regulatory actions should focus on some areas where the impact of new technologies is particularly relevant such as the prevention of an arms race in outer space; the area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems; and the sector of biotechnologies.

As for the cyber domain, together with 51 other Countries, Italy has promoted the establishment of a permanent Programme of Action (PoA) to Advance Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace. New technologies can also be crucial to effectively address the terrorist threat, by countering terrorist propaganda and capabilities. Italy – Stefanile noted – is proud to be a member of the Christchurch Call to Action and supports international cooperation to respond in unison to terrorist content online. (@OnuItalia)