Delivered by: His Excellency Omran Sharaf, Assistant Minister for Advanced Science and Technology

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

On behalf of the Permanent Missions of the UAE and Albania, I would like to welcome you to today’s arria-formula meeting on AI and its impact on hate speech, dis-information, and mis-information in the context of the maintenance of international peace and security. I would like to welcome our briefers and thank them for joining us; we look forward to hearing from you.

The proliferation and uptake of new technology, such as AI, is moving at breakneck speed. From the phone landline taking about 75 years to reach 100 million users, ChatGPT reached 100 million users in just two months. That is an astonishing result which demonstrates the potential opportunities, as well as risks, that the rapid adoption of AI poses. As a global community, we must quickly learn how to harness this technology for good and prepare for its potential negative characteristics.

We believe that AI will spur technological advances and contribute to sustainable development. However, we share the broad concerns associated with AI and the importance of creating an effective framework to mitigate harm. In this context, I would like to highlight two points for such a framework:

  • First, UN Member States will inevitably develop varied domestic AI policies, as informed by their national capacities and perspectives. As we work on an international framework, the UAE’s key priorities would be two-fold: 1) to ensure respect for certain differences, so AI can develop in the appropriate national or regional contexts, and 2) to ensure that the differences do not lead to further gaps between developed and developing economies, and that the “first-mover advantage” does not perpetuate inequality.
  • Second, UN Member States and key stakeholders, such as technology companies, must work together to develop broad AI literacy. At the moment, AI learns from what it is exposed to, based on how we teach it. We must be well-educated on how to work with AI so we can guide it towards making ethical decisions that promote inclusivity, tolerance, and prosperity, rather than the opposite. Decades of progress on the fight against discrimination, including gender discrimination towards women and girls, as well as against persons with disabilities, will otherwise be undermined. We must work to manage how and what AI learns, rather than simply aim to manage the outcomes and the consequences.

In developing a global framework for AI governance, we need to work to avoid further polarization. The potential development of varying codes of AI ethics across countries could make reaching consensus difficult. And although competition is spurring innovation, we must preserve areas of cooperation, share lessons learned, draw best practices, and ensure that regulation addresses the potential misuse of these technologies.

None of this can happen without strong international policies. This will require us to be inclusive of emerging and developing nations by promoting robust knowledge transfer mechanisms to enhance access to technological know-how, especially in this competitive geopolitical climate. Moreover, advancement in one technology, such as quantum computing, can lead to rapid development in other AI technologies. We must proactively anticipate synergies and ensure that the existing policy instruments are well-equipped to deal with the fast pace of innovation.

With the assistance of our expert panelists, today’s meeting will look at how a rising trend of hate speech, misinformation, and disinformation has helped to fuel xenophobia, racism, religious hatred, and misogyny around the world and how AI could potentially compound threats and intensify conflicts. But we also would like to explore opportunities for AI to combat such problems and contribute to positive change.

Today’s meeting will help inform not only Security Council members, but the wider international community regarding the benefits and risks associated with AI and the steps we can take to manage relevant challenges. I look forward to a fruitful discussion.