The thirty-ninth session of the High-level Committee on Programmes of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which had been scheduled to be held on 6 and 7 April 2020 at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The envisaged agenda for the session had been structured to advance the Committee’s work in support of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development Goals by 2030, including a discussion on the ethics of artificial intelligence to be led by UNESCO. In view of the cancellation, the Chair of the Committee, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, requested the Secretary of the Committee to support the respective lead entities in continuing the individual workstreams in a virtual format. Subsequently, the Chair, in consultation with UNESCO, decided that the workstream on the ethics of artificial intelligence would be the focus of a virtual intersessional Committee meeting prior to the fortieth session.
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