Digital Technology Network Facilitating UN Digital Transformation
The United Nations Digital and Technology Network met in May in Washington, D.C. to discuss hot technology topics among UN System Chief Information Officers.
The Digital and Technology Network invited digital and data chiefs to join the conversation and to form a larger community working towards the strategic digital transformation of the UN system, UN 2.0.
The network is co-chaired by Bernardo Mariano Junior, Chief Information Technology Officer in the Office of Information and Communications Technology, and Shirin Hamid, Chief Information Officer of the International Monetary Fund.
During the recent meeting, Digital and Technology Network members and guests discussed key topics, including generative AI (AI that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio, and synthetic data) and Zero Trust—a cybersecurity model that uses the guiding principle of ‘never trust, always verify.’
For the first time, the meeting was extended to three days. The extra time allowed discussions among Chief Digital Officers (or their equivalent) and Chief Data Officers, bringing together perspectives from both the technical and substantive areas of the business.
Takeaways from the session included:
AI presents both opportunities to inform technology with our most cherished values, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and threats to stability.
The Digital and Technology Network agreed to produce a position paper on the technology for the UN system.
The Digital and Technology Network heard a presentation from John Kindervag, Founder of Zero Trust, who stressed the need for an incremental approach to security.
The network agreed to publish the Cybersecurity Baseline Three requirements—a set of minimum cybersecurity requirements, agreed to by all parties—that are intended to strengthen the entire UN system.
Participants also listened to a keynote speech by NASA and presentations from digital officers as well as representatives from the UN, governments, and industry.
They agreed to establish a community of practice. Recognizing that practices are emergent and change is accelerating, the community will facilitate discussion towards the common good, learning, and growing together.