UN General Assembly Adopts Historic Resolution on Safe and Ethical AI Implementation

New York, 21 March, 2004 – The United Nations General Assembly recently embraced a pivotal resolution to advance the development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that prioritize safety, security, and ethical considerations while also driving sustainable development globally. This significant step forward was achieved through the endorsement of a resolution led by a coalition of nations, receiving support from more than 120 member states. The resolution underscores the critical importance of upholding human rights throughout the entire lifecycle of AI, from design and development to deployment and utilization.

This resolution marks the first instance where the General Assembly has directly addressed the regulation of AI, signifying a watershed moment in global governance concerning emerging technologies. Notably, the adoption of this resolution has been recognized as a historic milestone in ensuring the responsible and safe utilization of AI technologies for the betterment of society.
A core aspect of the resolution is its acknowledgement of the transformative potential of AI in accelerating progress towards achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By harnessing AI responsibly, nations can leverage its capabilities to tackle pressing global challenges and foster inclusive development.

Crucially, the General Assembly reiterated that human rights must be safeguarded offline and online, emphasizing the imperative of protecting individuals’ rights in the face of AI deployment. It urged all stakeholders to refrain from employing AI systems that contravene international human rights standards or pose significant risks to human rights enjoyment.

Furthermore, the Assembly emphasized the necessity of addressing the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to AI technologies, particularly for developing nations. Recognizing the disparities in technological advancement, efforts to support inclusive access to AI and enhance digital literacy were highlighted as essential components of global cooperation.

Looking ahead, the resolution paves the way for sustained engagement and cooperation among member states, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders in crafting responsible AI governance frameworks. It aligns with broader UN initiatives aimed at fostering digital cooperation and ensuring that AI technologies serve the collective interests of humanity while upholding ethical standards and human rights.

Read more here


Access to the information, documents, products and services contained in this website is provided as a public service by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).  The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of UNIDO or of the governments of UNIDO Member States and as such is not an official record.

All information available from this website is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis.  UNIDO makes no warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information.  Neither does it warrant that use of the information is free of any claims of copyright infringement.  Under no circumstances shall UNIDO be liable for any loss, damage, liability or expense incurred or suffered that is claimed to have resulted from the use of this website, including, without limitation, any fault, error, omission, computer virus, interruption or delay with respect thereto.  The use of this website is at the user’s sole risk.

Extracts from UNIDO material contained in this website may be freely used elsewhere provided that acknowledgement of the source is made. If the material indicates that the information (including photos and graphics) is from a source or site external to UNIDO, permission for reuse must be sought from the originating organization.

UNIDO cannot and does not guarantee the authenticity of documents on the Internet. Links to non-UNIDO sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data, or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided.  Links to non-UNIDO websites are provided solely as a pointer to information on topics that may be useful to UNIDO staff, Member States and the public.

The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgement by UNIDO as to the legal status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries.

The mention of names of specific companies or products (whether or not indicated as registered) does not imply any intention to infringe proprietary rights, nor should it be construed as an endorsement or recommendation on the part of UNIDO.

Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of UNIDO, which are specifically reserved.