Inter-Agency Working Group on Artificial Intelligence

  • Co-chairs: Mr. Tomas Lamanauskas (Deputy Secretary-General, ITU) and Ms. Gabriela Ramos (Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO)
  • Reporting to: High-level Committee on Programmes

At its 40th session in October 2020, HLCP decided to create an inter-agency working group on Artificial Intelligence (IAWG-AI), co-led by UNESCO and ITU, to bring together United Nations system expertise on artificial intelligence in support of the CEB and HLCP workstreams on the ethics of AI and the strategic approach and road map for supporting capacity development. It combines the ethical and technological pillars of the United Nations to provide a solid foundation for current and future system-wide efforts on artificial intelligence with a view to ensuring respect for human rights and accelerating progress on the SDGs.

The IAWG-AI held its inaugural meeting in March 2021, approving its terms of reference, which were developed at the working-level through a consultative process. HLCP subsequently endorsed the terms of reference. The IAWG-AI held additional meetings in September 2021 to develop its workplan. Several workstreams focusing on ethics and human rights, capacity development, procurement guidelines, education, justice, industry, foresight, and other areas will be carried forward by sub-teams and workstream leads, reporting back to the broader group, and to HLCP when necessary. The IAWG-AI seeks to work in collaboration with related interagency and multistakeholder mechanisms on matters relating to AI.

Against this background, the United Nations System White Paper on AI Governance was developed. The White Paper analyses the UN system's institutional models, functions, and existing international normative frameworks applicable to global AI governance. The paper is offered as a UN system-wide contribution to relevant deliberations on the governance of AI, including the work of the Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Body on AI. The paper has been approved by HLCP at its 47th session and was subsequently endorsed by CEB. 

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • New Technologies
  • High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)