Premiere for the TechDiplomacy Talk at the Austrian Foreign Ministry

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: February 1, 2023; 23:26 ♦ (Vindobona)

On the occasion of the Vienna visit of the United Nations Envoy for Technology, Under-Secretary-General Amandeep Singh Gill, a TechDiplomacy Talk was held at the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Read more about the premiere of the new format!

While realizing the full potential of innovation, the exchange should help find smart ways to regulate the tech industry to protect privacy and human rights. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal opened the first TechDiplomacy Talk with the Technology Representative of the UN Secretary-General Amandeeph Singh Gill, Federal Minister Karoline Edtstadler, State Secretary Florian Tursky and experts from the Austrian technology industry. This was followed by a panel discussion on "The Future of the Internet: Public Value, Human Rights and Sustainable Innovation" with Austrian tech experts.

The event is part of Austria's efforts to secure human rights and fundamental values also in the digital space and to put people at the center of digitalization. It is also important to make innovations in the technology sector accessible to everyone.

Austria is particularly committed to ensuring that digitization contributes to the promotion of democracy, the protection of human rights and sustainable development, and thus that the concept of "digital humanism" is also anchored in the future global digital pact.

To ensure that no one is left behind, Austria has always advocated value-based multilateralism based on international law, particularly human rights, according to Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.

Tech Diplomacy Talk

The TechDiplomacy Talk kicks off public consultations on the global digital pact in Austria and provided a platform for exchange with the United Nations Technology Envoy. The United Nations provides a forum to find a common way to seize the opportunities of digital transformation and overcome the challenges that come with it. Only in this way can the fundamental values of liberal democracies, such as inclusivity, human rights and the rule of law, also be protected online.

In the panel discussion that followed, the importance of well-thought-out regulations in the tech sector on a global level was emphasized. In addition to the necessary regulation to protect data, privacy and human rights in the digital space, agreements are also needed to make innovations in the tech sector accessible to all. Only if everyone has equal access to the Internet and important data can the full potential of the technologies be exploited, according to the tenor. These innovations, such as artificial intelligence, are urgently needed for equitable sustainable development.

For Secretary-General Launsky-Tieffenthal, the TechDiplomacy Talk "comes at a crucial time, as digital transformation has gained momentum in international affairs in recent years." Launsky-Tieffenthal believes this trend indicates a paradigm shift in the way the international community and societies approach digital transformation. "The days of self-regulation or no regulation are definitely over", he finally said.