New York, USA – The United Nations (UN) has issued an urgent appeal to government, tech companies, advertisers and the PR industry to step up and take responsibility for the spread and monetisation of content that results in harm.

This plea was made by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres following the launch of the United Nations Global Principles for Information Integrity.

This launch, done a year after the launch of his report into information integrity on digital platforms, has put forward a framework for coordinated international action to make information spaces safer and more humane, one of the most urgent tasks of our time.

These includes how misinformation, disinformation, hate speech and other risks to the information ecosystem are fueling conflict, threatening democracy and human rights, and undermining public health and climate action. 

Moreover, the UN notes that the proliferation is now being supercharged by the rapid rise of readily available artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, increasing the threat to groups often targeted in information spaces, including children.

“The United Nations Global Principles for Information Integrity aim to empower people to demand their rights. At a time when billions of people are exposed to false narratives, distortions and lies, these principles lay out a clear path forward, firmly rooted in human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and opinion,” UN Secretary Guterres said.

UN notes that advertisers should demand transparency in digital advertising processes from the tech sector to help ensure that ad budgets do not inadvertently fund disinformation or hate or undermine human rights.

Moreover, tech companies should scope business models that do not rely on programmatic advertising and do not prioritise engagement above human rights, privacy, and safety, allowing users greater choice and control over their online experience and personal data.

Lastly, UN states that all stakeholders involved in the development of AI technologies should take urgent, immediate, inclusive and transparent measures to ensure that all AI applications are designed, deployed and used safely, securely, responsibly and ethically, and uphold human rights.

Bangkok, Thailand – International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency that promotes social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights, has partnered with Google, as well as its International Training Center (ITCILO) to further expand its program for upskilling women entrepreneurs called ‘ILO’s Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post-COVID-19 Project’. The pilot initiative was hosted last November 2021.

The initiative aims to support women in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt more sustainable and resilient business models, and also works to strengthen women entrepreneurs’ access to vital support services.

Through the expansion of the initiative, ILO has launched three new training programs, which are now available to women entrepreneurs who are seeking new skills for their business and personal growth. It can be accessed in the Google Primer learning app as free, quick, and easy-to-understand lessons on how to manage a business, strengthen its online presence, and create a more supportive workplace which are available in both English and Thai language. 

Dragan Radic, ILO’s head of SME Unit of Enterprises Department, shared that the organization has worked for over 30 years to support SMEs to start, grow, and sustain their businesses, as well as strive to seek new and innovative methods and partnerships to deliver impactful solutions.

“The partnership with Google is a prime example of a collaboration that is enabling us to leverage our own strengths while also benefiting from our partner’s extensive online learning and technology capacity,” said Radic.

Ryan Rahardjo, Google’s head of public affairs for SEA, said, “Through this collaboration and our free Google Primer app, we hope more entrepreneurs in the region will be able to learn new skills, grow and expand their businesses both locally and internationally.”

ILO shared that at least 2,000 women entrepreneurs have been the first beneficiaries of the innovative new pilot to deliver digital training via Google Primer.

Interested learners may access the courses at the ILO Peer Learning Hub for APAC.