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A Breakthrough Opportunity for Global Governance

Efforts to develop a Pact for the Future and a Global Digital Compact offer reason to hope for real progress on peacebuilding and AI governance this year. But, beyond adopting these instruments, United Nations member states must build upon them by pursuing ambitious innovations in global governance.

DOHA/WASHINGTON, DC – Cyber-technologies, especially artificial intelligence, make possible powerful new tools for problem-solving. But they also raise serious governance challenges. In fact, unbridled competition for cyber-primacy could leave everyone worse off – a kind of “tragedy of the commons.” It might even lead to confrontation.

Mitigating such risks is more urgent than ever. Cyber-tech is becoming faster, better, cheaper, and more widely used at a time when there are more violent conflicts underway than at any point since World War II. Moreover, existing peacebuilding tools seem to be losing their efficacy. The United Nations’ well-known shortcomings – such as insufficient resources, lack of formal authority, and incapacity to address the underlying causes of violent conflicts – are particularly glaring in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan.

The good news is that this year will bring important opportunities to confront the challenges we face. In September, global leaders will gather in New York for the UN’s Summit of the Future, where they will seek to restore mutual trust, address gaps in global governance, and strengthen multilateral institutions’ ability to cope with current and future challenges. The summit is expected to deliver agreement on a Pact for the Future, laying out a clear path forward for the international system.