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CODES Statement at Global Digital Compact Consultations on Sustainable Development Goals

June 23, 2023
04:01 (EST)
Marcel Dorsch
Senior Expert Digital Change and Sustainability Transformation, German Environment Agency

Global Digital Compact Consultations on Sustainable Development Goals

On 14 June2023 3-6 pm ET, CODES participated in the last of eight Thematic Deep-Dives within the consultation process for the Global Digital Compact, focusing on “Accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals”. We share the text of the statement in the following.

CODES Statement in the Consultations

Fellow colleagues, I speak as a co-facilitator of the CODES Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability, and co-author of the CODES Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age. We also work under the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation process and invite all actors to join our CODES community and – in the spirit of SDG 17 - further strengthen our Partnerships for the Goals, as well as our agenda setting and hands-on implementation activities. Just go to our website

Our Overarching Message is clear: digital change needs to be systemically and proactively aligned with the sustainability transformation to ensure first, that all digital infrastructure is itself comprehensively sustainable and second, that digital innovations are used with a clear purpose: as an accelerating force for our common sustainable development agenda. 

We propose specific impact initiatives in our Action Plan, but given the UNSG Policy Brief and todays specific guiding questions, how can the Global Digital Compact help here and now?

  1. Aligning digital with sustainability needs new capacity and competency development: The Compact should initiative, stimulate and advance this “Digital Sustainability Readiness” among all actors and institutions– especially in the public domain. The UN should support robust science-based foresight, assessment and monitoring processes to create public knowledge but also to identify risks and opportunities for a sustainable digital age.
  2. Building inherently sustainable digital infrastructures, products and services needs to be mainstreamed all-over the Compact, supported by clear standards and guidelines. The Compact should agree on the development of a “Reference Framework for Sustainable Digitalization”, that clarifies and exemplifies sustainable digital infrastructure pathways with the help of strong digital sustainability standards and best practices.
  3. Realizing the many awesome digital opportunities “for the People, the Planet and Prosperity for all” depends on a substantial redirection of resources and attention. To implement this clear sustainability purpose on the ground, the Compact should promote visible consequences in trans- and international cooperation – including development cooperation, capacity development, public and private funds and programmes. This creates positive impact in the communities!

To conclude, we as CODES are grateful for the increasingly prominent role the Sustainability Agenda takes in the GDC process, including via this very Deep Dive today but also within the UNSGs Policy Brief. Proposing “Closing Divides and Advancing the SDGs” as one of three key pillars in the brief is a powerful first step, but we hope to see further specifications and in particular more mainstreaming of environmental sustainability in all aspects of the Compact. Thank you!


All CODES related Statements during the Consultations in New York

Next to this statement delivered by Dr. Marcel Dorsch in the name of CODES, our CODES colleague Dr. Jennifer Garard also gave a statement with a strong reference on our CODES messages. Furthermore, we are grateful for a supportive mentioning of CODES in the statement by the representative of Germany.

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