GENEVA, 2nd October, 2023 (WAM) -- The Jusoor International Center for Media and Development organized an event in Geneva on the sidelines of the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in which speakers highlighted the challenges facing digital human rights in light of the tremendous and rapid development of digital technology and the extent of its impact on users of this technology.
Mohammad Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Center, affirmed in his address during the event, which was attended by representatives of a number of member states of the Human Rights Council, diplomats and representatives of non-governmental organizations, that the issue of digital rights has today become one of the most important topics on the scene, especially after it has become a true reality and intermingles with virtual reality and its effects on everyone. He noted the importance of the definition provided by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of digital rights as those rights empower humans in the digital field and enhance their use of technology.
Al Hammadi noted that digital rights have also become a burden on legislators, the United Nations, and the international community, especially since the impact of violations is deeper as technology develops. He indicated that the most prominent challenge is that legislation that keeps pace with the development of this technology is slow. He called for a new global declaration of digital rights similar to what the world did before in establishing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its launch this year.
Ayman Nasri, the Head of the Arab- European Forum for Dialogue and Human Rights, said that it is not acceptable that cyberspace and artificial intelligence are not subject to control and supervision or to human rights principles, stressing that the person enjoys the same rights in the virtual world and the real world, which is affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council.
He added that the scale and rapid pace of digital development has created tremendous challenges that stifle freedom of expression and incite hatred and violence online. Harassment, phising and intimidation campaigns have also spread across the Internet, posing real threats in real life and negatively affecting women, as well as contributing significantly to the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence
Paula Vodakowska, a lawyer in international law and human rights, focused on the current international and regional efforts regarding digital rights, especially after the experiences and lessons that resulted from the Corona pandemic and the impact of digital technology on people during that period, especially with regard to justice.
She said that maintaining confidentiality and combating violations, in line with civil and political rights, is one of the most important human rights, warning that artificial intelligence could cause catastrophic effects on personal secrets and justice, pointing out that companies that produce computers are also responsible for putting an end to violations and committing to laws in this regard.
Othman Nour, Director of Government Relations at the Stop Killer Robots Foundation, addressed the issue of the use of artificial intelligence weapons that can operate without human intervention and use the information contained within the system to carry out military operations against the enemy, which represents a very serious problem with regard to legal aspects, accountability issues and impunity.
Nour called for the issuance of resolutions by the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly to deal with future prospects, calling on the UN Secretary-General to take action to form a digital accountability team whose tasks include communicating with companies and warning of these risks.