ITU / GUTERRES ITU COUNCIL SESSION

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Addressing the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council in Geneva, Secretary-General António Guterres said bridging the digital divide "is not only an economic necessity, but a moral and humanitarian imperative. And fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” ITU
Description

STORY: ITU / GUTERRES ITU COUNCIL SESSION
TRT: 02:48
SOURCE: ITU
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 JUNE 2024, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

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Shotlist

1. Wide shot, ITU Council
2. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Digital technologies are reshaping every facet of our lives. But they are also exposing deep inequalities – both within and between countries. For many, the digital promise is still a virtual dream. Today, nearly one-third of the world’s population remains unconnected, locked out of the digital revolution. The digital divide is depriving billions of people of opportunities. Of education, healthcare, job opportunities, the tools to build a better life. Bridging that divide is not only an economic necessity, but a moral and humanitarian imperative. And fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
3. Wide shot, ITU Council
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Artificial Intelligence is the biggest revolution since the invention of internet – perhaps since the second industrial revolution. It can help drive sustainable development, foster social justice, and transform our lives for the better. ITU’s AI for Good platform is a great illustration of how sharing best practices across borders and sectors can drive meaningful change.”
5. Wide shot, ITU Council
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“AI also poses extreme – and even existential – risks. From entrenching biases to undermining trust and social cohesion, disrupting labour markets, threatening privacy, and human rights, and even jeopardizing international peace and security. Today, it is being deployed with few guardrails and little caution. And the pace of innovation is outpacing the capacity to regulate it. We must join forces to ensure AI never stands for Advancing Inequality.”
7. Wide shot, ITU Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“I am encouraged by the growing momentum towards an ambitious Global Digital Compact that aims to: connect the unconnected and put an end to digital exclusion in all its forms; chart a course for a safe and inclusive AI that puts people at the centre and protects human rights; and channel innovation to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and protect our planet.”
9. Wide shot, ITU Council, applause

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Storyline

Addressing the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council today (12 Jun) in Geneva, Secretary-General António Guterres said bridging the digital divide "is not only an economic necessity, but a moral and humanitarian imperative. And fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Guterres said, “digital technologies are reshaping every facet of our lives. But they are also exposing deep inequalities – both within and between countries. For many, the digital promise is still a virtual dream.”

He noted that “nearly one-third of the world’s population remains unconnected, locked out of the digital revolution,” stressing that the digital divide “is depriving billions of people of opportunities. Of education, healthcare, job opportunities, the tools to build a better life.”

On Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Secretary-General said it was “the biggest revolution since the invention of internet – perhaps since the second industrial revolution” and “can help drive sustainable development, foster social justice, and transform our lives for the better.”

AI, he said, “also poses extreme – and even existential – risks. From entrenching biases to undermining trust and social cohesion, disrupting labour markets, threatening privacy, and human rights, and even jeopardizing international peace and security.”

Guterres said AI “is being deployed with few guardrails and little caution. And the pace of innovation is outpacing the capacity to regulate it.”

He said, “we must join forces to ensure AI never stands for Advancing Inequality.”

The Secretary-General said he was “encouraged by the growing momentum towards an ambitious Global Digital Compact that aims to: connect the unconnected and put an end to digital exclusion in all its forms; chart a course for a safe and inclusive AI that puts people at the centre and protects human rights; and channel innovation to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and protect our planet.”

He also highlighted the role of AI for Good, the ITU’s platform that aims to identify practical applications of AI to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and scale those solutions for global impact.

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