Artificial Intelligence

UN gears up to vote for first resolution on artificial intelligence

NEW DELHI: The United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to vote on a resolution concerning artificial intelligence (AI) on Thursday. This proposed resolution, the first of its kind, aims to ensure that AI technology serves the interests of all nations, upholds human rights, and is deemed “safe, secure, and trustworthy.”

The resolution, backed by the United States, is anticipated to garner unanimous support from all 193 UN member nations. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed optimism that the resolution, if adopted, would mark a significant milestone in promoting the responsible use of AI. He highlighted that the resolution seeks to establish a universal set of principles for the development and utilization of AI, with the goal of harnessing AI systems for societal good while mitigating associated risks.

One of the key objectives of the draft resolution is to bridge the digital gap between affluent developed nations and less affluent developing nations, ensuring equal participation in AI discussions. It also aims to equip developing countries with the necessary technology and capabilities to leverage AI benefits, such as disease detection, flood prediction, agricultural support, and workforce training.

Acknowledging the rapid advancement of AI technology, the resolution underscores the pressing need for global consensus on the safety, security, and reliability of AI systems. It also recognizes the evolving nature of AI governance, emphasizing the necessity for further deliberations on potential governance approaches.

Major tech companies have generally endorsed the regulation of AI, while advocating for rules that align with their interests. In a similar vein, the European Union recently approved comprehensive AI regulations, set to come into effect by mid-year. Countries worldwide, including the US and China, as well as the Group of 20 nations, are also in the process of formulating AI regulatory frameworks.

The draft resolution acknowledges existing UN initiatives led by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the International Telecommunication Union to ensure the beneficial use of AI on a global scale. Sullivan emphasized that the US sought to engage the General Assembly in a global dialogue on managing the implications of rapidly evolving AI technology.

The draft resolution encourages collaboration among countries, organizations, tech communities, civil society, academia, and individuals to develop and advocate for regulatory frameworks that ensure the safety of AI systems. It warns against the inappropriate or malicious design, development, deployment, and use of AI systems, stressing compliance with international law.


A primary objective outlined in the resolution is leveraging AI to advance progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, including eradicating hunger and poverty, enhancing global health, ensuring quality education for all, and promoting gender equality. It calls upon UN member states and other stakeholders to assist developing nations in accessing the benefits of digital transformation and secure AI systems.

The United States engaged in extensive negotiations with UN member nations over the past few months, dedicating significant time to direct talks and receiving input from 120 countries. The resolution, which underwent multiple revisions, secured unanimous backing from all member states, signifying a significant step towards fostering globally accepted standards for safe and trustworthy AI.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield remarked that the resolution aims to establish an international consensus on a unified approach to the design, development, deployment, and use of AI systems, particularly in support of the 2030 UN objectives. If ratified, she believes it would represent a historic leap forward in promoting secure, reliable, and trustworthy AI on a global scale.


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