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UN Secretary-General Guterres Resolute for Blockchain Technology

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Dec, 31 2019

Dec, 31 2019

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In his official statement, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, from the United Nations office expressed the inevitability of blockchain technology in UN-funded projects. Amidst the recent developments when the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has begun receiving the funds through cryptocurrencies, his statement holds the relevance for more integration of blockchain in UN projects.

In October 2019, The Ethereum Foundation has donated funds through Bitcoins and Ethereum to the UNICEF for some of its projects. Guterres has consistently been proposing blockchain technology in the past couple of years.  In July 2018, he had established a high-level panel for deliberation on the global digital co-operation. It was held under the exclusive agenda for the propagation of the blockchain technology. Guterres commented, “For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievements of sustainable development goals.”

Though he has expressed apathy towards cryptocurrencies over the period, he is insisting on the usage of blockchains for more transparency in the donations for UNICEF. While several governments and private businesses are roping in blockchain technology to curb the Anti-money laundering (AML) cases, and for other applications, the UN is concentrating more on bringing transparency and accountability towards the UNICEF donations reducing the surplus of the extensive supply chain network.

Additional Reserve in Annual UN Budget for Interoperability of global organizations

In October 2019, the UN presented an annual historical budget for 2020 after 45 years. Guterres has sanctioned a separate reserve of $3.3 million out of the $2.87 billion funds for Sustainable development goals (SDGs) and other projects including the global cooperation in technical strata. In one of his speeches in September 2018, he had insisted that the integration of disruptive technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence can change the entire face of global interoperability among various authority organizations.

United Nation’s Cross-border Blockchain Projects

So far, the United Nations Innovation Network has been running 5 inter-agency Corporation projects in various regions of the world. Papua New Guinea UN Telecommunications Union has collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization to monitor the local pig supply chain management. In Nepal, the UN Development Fund is leveraging blockchains for payment settlements. In Ecuador, blockchain technology is being used to track the cocoa supply chain by the UNDP.

Regular Evaluation of the Strategy 

Secretary Antonio Guterres has set-up a plan called “UN Secretary General’s strategy on new Technologies” to evaluate the applications of this new technology and the involved challenges. Through quarterly meetings, he coordinates with his office executive’s regarding the developments and challenges while deploying the blockchain technology.  He commented that his office will evaluate and innovate the strategy as per the experiences gained on national and regional levels.

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