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Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jongmoon Participates in High-Level Panel Discussion on Human Rights and New Technologies

  • Date : 2021-06-23 15:55:56
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1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jongmoon virtually attended a high-level panel discussion on new and emerging technologies and human rights held on Thursday, June 15, between 22:00-24:00, KST.


° The high-level panel discussion was co-organized by Korea, Austria, Morocco, Brazil, Denmark, Singapore, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a side event of the 47th session of the Human Rights Council that will be held from Monday, June 21, to Thursday, July 15.


° At the panel discussion on the role of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in promoting a human rights-based approach to new and emerging technologies, various participants from governments, international organizations, businesses, and academia exchanged in-depth views on the application of human rights norms to new and emerging technologies.


Major participants: Assistant Secretary General (acting UN Tech Envoy) Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg of Austria, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita of Morocco, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod of Denmark, Prof. Baek Buhm-suk (member of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee), and Ms. Julie Owono (member of the Facebook Oversight Board).


2. The discussion on new technologies and human rights is timely and appropriate against the backdrop of the pandemic, Vice Minister Choi said, underlining that digital technologies hold both opportunities and challenges in regard to the protection and promotion of human rights.


° The Vice Minister pointed out that the Korean government has made valuable use of digital technologies in countering the pandemic, including the identification of confirmed cases, the development of a blockchain-based COVID-19 vaccination verification system, and the introduction of a leftover vaccine reservation system.


° Also, the Vice Minister said that this utilization of digital technologies contributed to safeguarding the right to health, the freedom of expression, and the right to access to information while simultaneously bringing to light the risk of privacy violations and a growing digital divide which revealed the importance of a human rights-based approach in the application of new technologies.

 

3. The Korean government led the adoption of a resolution on new and emerging technologies and human rights during the 41st HRC session in July 2019 and will table a follow-up resolution in the upcoming 47th HRC session.


4. As a nation with advanced IT industries, Korea will continue to maintain a leading role in multilateral fora in furthering the discussion on new and emerging technologies and human rights by tabling follow-up resolutions and actively participating in relevant panel discussions.