H.E. Dr. Chola Milambo, Permanent Representative of Zambia,
H.E. Ms. Anna Karin Enestrom, Permanent Representative of Sweden,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of G77 and China.

At the outset, I would like to thank the co-facilitators for sharing the possible elements or outline of the Global Digital Compact, which the Group believes will help delegations focus their discussions further on the substance of the Compact. The Group recognizes and appreciates your efforts in putting forward these balanced elements.

On the substance of the elements, the Group would like to make the following comments:

1- In the "preamble" section, the Group would like to see a reference to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), in particular the Tunis Agenda and the Geneva Plan of Action, as one of the pillars to build on in the Compact.

2- In the "principles" section, the Group considers that closing the digital divides between countries should be a priority, in addition to within countries.

3- Under this section, the Group would also like to tackle the existing obstacles that developing countries face in accessing digital technologies and innovation, including UCMs.

4- In the Chapeau of the section on "Commitments and Actions", the Group considers that digital cooperation must deliver benefits anchored in accelerating the SDGs, as well as the protection and promotion of human rights, including the right to development.

5- Currently, there is no reference to "internet governance" under this section of the document, although this was one of the main issues discussed throughout the deep-dive sessions last year. The Group would welcome more clarification on this matter and request its inclusion.

6- Under the "Closing the digital divides and accelerating progress across the SDGs", the Group would like to see a mention of digital public goods for inclusive development, alongside digital public infrastructure.

7- Under the "Fostering an inclusive, open, safe and secure digital space" section, the Group would like to see a reference to inclusive digital literacy and participation, as well as the importance of avoiding all forms of discrimination in this regard.

8- The Group appreciates the inclusion of a stand-alone section on "advancing data governance", since data-related issues are a priority for the Group. There is a need for formulating international rules on inclusive data governance and data protection reflecting the views and interests of all countries, and for simultaneously strengthening international cooperation on data for development to enable cross-border data flows to maximize development gains, and to avoid monopolies in this regard. We would like to see a reference to the promotion of digital public goods and its protection from unfair practices.

9- On the section on "Emerging technologies, including AI", we would like to seek clarity on why there is a "placeholder pending ongoing discussions". The Group would like to reiterate its position that current ongoing discussions, including those on the GA resolution regarding AI, should not preempt discussions on this issue in the GDC. These are preliminary attempts to start discussions on this important topic.

10- In this regard, the group also considers that the final HLAB report on AI could include important recommendations that would potentially feed into the GDC.

11- On emerging technologies, including AI, the Group considers that some important sub items to be highlighted are: reaffirming the importance of inclusive and equal participation by all countries, the vital leading role by the UN in AI governance and international cooperation, in addition to the importance of providing capacity building, technology transfer and knowledge transfer to developing countries in this regard.

12- In the zero draft of the Compact, the Group would welcome the inclusion of concrete action-oriented and measurable commitments and deliverables to guarantee that the Compact delivers the results we aspire for, and to enable and facilitate follow up and review.

13- On the "follow up and review" section, the Group considers that monitoring the provision of means of implementation to developing countries, including capacity building, technology transfer, knowledge transfer and financing mechanisms, would be vital to enable tracking the progress against commitments in the GDC. The Group would also like to emphasize the importance of promoting multilateral and north-south partnerships and cooperation, considering the complementary nature of South-South and triangular cooperation.

14- The Group also appreciates the indication that follow up and review would "build on existing mechanisms and avoid duplication" and reaffirm the importance of enhancing coordination among existing entities to ensure they can successfully work together, particularly to tackle crosscutting issues that involve more than one entity.
Finally, the Group would like to seek clarification on the way forward regarding the nature and level of participation of stakeholders in the intergovernmental process in the coming months.

We reaffirm our commitment to actively engage in this important process.

Thank You./p>