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  • Writer's pictureIsabelle Korman

Why the UN Should be on The Block

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

By Neptuul - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The use of Blockchain protocols in development is not only new but it is also promising. The United Nations system no doubt has the means to implement these protocols, due to its reach, independence, and institutional experience. It is no wonder then, that just this past Monday the United Nations had an 8-hour event in the Economic and Social Council Chamber to open up some serious conversations about AI and blockchain technology for sustainable development.

The UN, together with top researchers, experts, practitioners, the private sector, civil society and other key actors converged to discuss the possibilities of blockchain to solve the UN's sustainable development goals. Since organizations in the UN system have enough regulatory flexibility to expand on the building blocks of blockchain platforms, UN activities could carry out the function of a research platform both for blockchain systems and for new regulatory approaches to blockchain-based international transactions.

"Never before have we seen such a technology as transformational as blockchain — whether it's being used to send immediate foreign aid via crypto, or to generate IDs for refugees — it has the power to change the way the developing parts of the world work while enabling more developed nations to efficiently share resources. The United Nations focuses largely on taking a decentralized perspective to the way the world works — and to adopt blockchain technology across systems would serve the best match." - Janet C. Salazar, permanent representative to the United Nations.

The question we should all be asking is: Since the UN public mandate positions the UN system organizations to be able to develop multiple blockchain protocols, should it not be held accountable to do so?

The real struggle seems to lie within the grey zone that separates the UN of olden times from today's age of digital currency, decentralization and the efficiency of a realtime peer-to-peer network.

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