UN Program Pushes Digital Public Infrastructure as EU and Gates Foundation Aim for Digital ID by 2030

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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launches a project to promote digital public infrastructure (DPI) aimed at achieving sustainable development goals, with backing from the EU and the Gates Foundation for digital IDs by 2030.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has initiated a project focusing on “digital public infrastructure” (DPI) to advance the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). This initiative is supported by notable organizations such as the European Union (EU), the Gates Foundation, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The UNDP’s role is straightforward, but DPI remains a buzzword often employed by various influential organizations. These include the Gates Foundation and the WEF, which is frequently involved in such global initiatives.

The UNDP’s role is straightforward, but DPI remains a buzzword often employed by various influential organizations. These include the Gates Foundation and the WEF, which is frequently involved in such global initiatives.

The concept of DPIs is intended to support development in multiple ways. However, some critics argue that the policy is a strategy to expedite the adoption of digital IDs and payments, with a target date set for 2030.

On November 8, the UNDP will implement its “50in5” program, aimed at advancing “the conversation around the development of safe, inclusive, and interoperable digital public infrastructure (DPI).” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be present at the launch, reflecting the Foundation’s significant role in promoting digital public goods.

For citizens of UN member states whose governments are funding these efforts, there might be concerns or a lack of information about these initiatives. Despite potential unease or opposition, the project is moving forward. Fifty countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and India, have been selected as pilot locations for this DPI initiative.

The Switzerland-based WEF has published a series of articles advocating for DPI implementation. These articles emphasize “zero-knowledge tech,” a cryptographic approach that verifies identity while preserving privacy.

Additionally, the WEF has highlighted the potential benefits of DPI for children’s rights globally, suggesting that investments in digital public infrastructure could significantly enhance the protection and promotion of these rights.

“Children’s rights around the world can be boosted by investing in digital public infrastructures,” noted a caption on the WEF’s website.