This week, world leaders will gather once again for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Nick Clegg, Meta’s President, Global Affairs, will lead our delegation of executives to New York to discuss our commitments to uphold the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and work with the UN, governments, civil society and other private sector entities to accelerate the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while discussing collaboration around the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future in 2024.
Multi-stakeholder collaboration is crucial in achieving our shared goals, which include protecting health and safety, promoting peace and security, and creating economic opportunity. That’s why we’re proud to reiterate our steadfast commitment to the Christchurch Call to Action and continue our work with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) as they expand their membership and advance their cross-platform technical solutions.
Through this commitment we continue to invest in crisis response and protocols on our platforms, and in collaborations with industry, government, and NGO partners to eliminate terrorist and harmful content online. Just last week, we announced two new partnerships focused on building resilience and community-based solutions in the face of extremism. We look forward to continuing this work as we assume the chair of GIFCT’s operating board next year.
These efforts to cooperate across borders are more important than ever, as we continue to see just how fragile the free and open internet is. Increasing internet fragmentation poses a significant risk to the benefits of the internet as we know it, and international cooperation plays an important role in helping to protect the future of the open internet.
Through the United Nations, governments can work together to help maintain the common technical infrastructure that the open internet demands on a global scale, and help guide the internet’s expansion to the three billion people who remain currently unconnected. We support the Global Digital Compact and the UN’s latest effort to develop “shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all,” particularly as it prepares for the Summit of the Future in 2024 to address key digital issues, including avoiding internet fragmentation. Likewise, we are also signatories of the Copenhagen Pledge on Tech and Democracy — a global and multi-stakeholder commitment of digital technologies to protect and promote the open internet, democracy and human rights.
The drive toward multi-stakeholder collaboration extends toward the future and the next evolution of the internet: the metaverse. While we are focused on building the next computing platform, we recognize we will not be doing it alone. Our teams are working across sectors to innovate new models of governance that help the industry build out the metaverse responsibly and to ensure we maximize its potential to be a positive force for inclusion and equity across the world.
Although the metaverse will take years to build, we are already seeing its potential to advance the Global Goals. The applications are endless. Virtual and augmented realities alone can support a variety of Global Goals, from remotely training medics to advance health (SDG 3), to helping local leaders visualize sea level rise to mitigate the effects of climate change (SDG 13). We recognize that, among this sea of opportunity, we must take careful steps to ensure the metaverse embodies, not compromises, the SDGs. Many of these applications are still nascent and need time, creativity, collaboration and partnerships to get right. The Global Goals give us the framework we need to ensure that the metaverse brings about positive social change and sustainable development.
See our full slate of programming on the sidelines of UNGA.