China proposes solutions to develop and govern emerging technologies

China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun chaired an Arria-Formula Meeting on “the Impact of Emerging Technologies on International Peace and Security” on Monday. Over 40 representatives from Member States, including Security Council members, attended this meeting and agreed to share benefits of the emerging technologies, prevent digital gap and better control risks through multilateral cooperation.

To help find better ways to develop, use and govern emerging technologies, Zhang Jun said China has proposed the following:

First, we need to promote innovation-driven development, and comprehensively improve the development and application of science and technology in all countries to narrow the digital divide. All countries must be fully engaged in the process of global technological development, to ensure that the advances in science and technology benefit all, especially developing countries. We need to strengthen capacity building through the application of emerging technologies to raise all countries’ capability to fight the pandemic, tackle climate change, and maintain food, energy and data security.

Second, we need to create favorable conditions to encourage healthy competition and prevent the monopoly on technology. All countries should pursue open development, and meet the challenges in the process of development. Unilateralism, protectionism and technological hegemony should be firmly opposed. We need to uphold international fairness and justice, promote equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, and avoid blockades and barriers to technology.

Third, we need to strengthen global governance to better regulate the development and application of emerging technologies. More efforts should be made to formulate relevant international instruments to fill the gaps in rules, norms and order. State governments should consult together, contribute together and share benefits together. We should practise multilateralism, encourage active participation of multiple stakeholders, and increase dialogue and cooperation to jointly formulate international norms and rules on emerging technologies.

Fourth, we need to fully recognize the potential risks and challenges of emerging technologies to better maintain international peace and security. We need to ensure that technological innovation complies with the law and universally-recognized international norms. We must ensure emerging technologies are of the people, by the people and for the people. Special attention should be paid to the use of emerging technologies in armed conflicts. We must prevent emerging technologies from falling into the hands of terrorist groups or being used to spread disinformation and hate speech. It is necessary to strengthen the use of emerging technologies in UN peacekeeping operations.

Fifth, we need to strengthen coordination to support the central role of the UN. The UN should pay more attention to emerging technologies, and further study and explore the establishment of a democratic, transparent, and inclusive framework for international cooperation and governance from the perspectives of peace, development and security. UN agencies should strengthen coordination to better seize the opportunities and tackle the risks and challenges brought by emerging technologies.

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