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Global Charter ‘Our Common Digital Future’

Status: Completed
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The ISC worked collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to develop an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science.

This project is now completed and the ISC and its partners continue to promote its outputs within the community of CODES. 

In partnership with the German Federal Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Future Earth and others, the ISC supported the development of a global charter on ‘Our Common Digital Future’.

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The institutional framework for global sustainable development in the Digital Age needs a normative reference point in the form of an international charter for a sustainable Digital Age. The WBGU submitted a draft for such a charter. It ties in with the 2030 Agenda and the Declaration of Human Rights and, at the same time, goes beyond them.

The charter is intended to serve as a system of principles, objectives and standards for the international community and to link digital change with the necessary global sustainability perspective. It formulates objectives and principles for the protection of human dignity, natural life-support systems, inclusion in and access to digital and digitalized infrastructures and technologies, as well as individual and collective freedom of development in the Digital Age. On this basis, the charter sets out concrete guidelines for action to be drawn up by the international community with a view to the challenges of the Digital Age.  

The charter contains three core elements:

  1. Digitalization should be designed in line with the 2030 Agenda, and digital technology should be used to achieve the SDGs.
  2. Beyond the 2030 Agenda, systemic risks should be avoided, in particular by protecting civil and human rights, promoting the common good and ensuring decision-making sovereignty.
  3. Societies must prepare themselves procedurally for future challenges by agreeing, among other things, on ethical guidelines and ensuring future-oriented research and education. 

Partners for this work included: Earth League, Future Earth, Global Development Network, International Science Council (ISC), The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS, India), Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), United Nations University, World in 2050. 

Read the full chapter 

Activities and impact 

News & Events

09 October 2019 - 10 min read

Why we need a UN charter

Learn more Learn more about Why we need a UN charter
26 September 2019 - 2 min read

Our Common Digital Future

Learn more Learn more about Our Common Digital Future

Project team

Megha Sud

Megha Sud

Senior Science Officer

International Science Council

Megha Sud

Involved ISC Members

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