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Digital Rights enter the U20 agenda

The Urban 20 (U20) is a city diplomacy initiative that aims to facilitate lasting engagement between the G20 and cities, raise the profile of urban issues in the G20 agenda, and establish a forum for cities to develop a collective message and perspective to inform G20 negotiations. Each year, the U20 puts out the U20 Communiqué to be shared with the President of the host country of the G20 that year. This year’s communiqué, released on 17 June 2021, calls attention to the protection of digital rights as one of the key aspects for prosperity.

The U20 cities have once again highlighted the need for the protection of digital rights for sustainable growth, something they already underlined in 2019. Cities call upon the G20 to support efforts in closing the digital divide, ensuring that smart cities are designed with open and ethical standards and making sure technology and algorithms are not used for censorship and discrimination. U20 cities also urge the G20 to put in place new forms of data regulation and digital governance that guarantee digitalization does not have a negative impact on equity. The G20 countries are called to ‘adapt human rights to the digital age by fostering digital rights, transparency and privacy’.

The U20 is convened by C40 Cities (C40) and CC4DR partner United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) under the leadership of a Chair city that rotates annually, based in the G20 host country. The communiqué will be shared with the Prime Minister of Italy and G20 2021 President, Mario Draghi, ahead of the G20 Summit in Rome in October 2021. You can find the 2021 document here.

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