The ninth Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion IX), organised by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Geneva and the Universal Rights Group was held on 25-26 May 2023 and focused on the topic: ‘Placing new and emerging technologies at the service of human rights and democracy – what role for the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms?
The interrelationship between science, technology (i.e., the application of scientific knowledge to the world around us), and the fundamental human dignity of individuals and communities has been a focus of the modern human rights movement since its birth in the late 1940s. Today, the urgency of that discussion is more important than ever, as new and emerging technologies (NETs) increasingly affect all facets of human life, bringing with them the potential to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights, but also, at the same time, presenting several complex risks and challenges to human rights where those technologies are misused.
The Glion IX retreat followed the publication, in December 2022, of a policy report by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, the Universal Rights Group, and the Seoul National University AI Policy Initiative (SAPI), which highlighted this important ‘paradox’ in the context of new and emerging technologies, namely that the same technologies can have both positive and negative impacts on human rights.
As with all Glion Human Rights Dialogues, the informal and inclusive discussions at Glion IX, held under the Chatham House rule, aimed to provide an open platform for dialogue and fresh thinking on the most pressing human rights issues of our time.
This Glion IX report is divided into three parts.
Part one takes stock and lessons learned on technology, human rights, democracy, and the role of the Human Rights Council and the UN human rights system.
Part two looks at what guidance, self-regulatory, and regulatory frameworks exists to help promote/ensure a rights-based approach to the conception, design, roll-out and operation of NETs.
Finally, part three considers what further roles can the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, and the wider UN human rights system, play in placing NETs at the service of human rights and democracy.
Each part of the report includes a brief situation analysis, followed by a summary of the main issues discussed and ideas put forward at Glion IX.
Other relevant documents to the Glion process can be found below:
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