United Nations Adopts First AI Global Resolution

The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted the first global resolution addressing the governance of AI. The non-binding resolution, proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China and over 120 other nations, encourages countries to safeguard human rights, protect personal data, and monitor AI systems for potential risks.


The resolution specifically advocates for the strengthening of privacy policies and calls for regulations that can defeat malicious deployment of AI tools. The text reflects the growing influence, benign and otherwise, of generative AI models, deepfakes and synthetic media, and related developments. The UN resolution is the latest in a series of initiatives by governments worldwide aimed at shaping the development of AI technology amid concerns over potential misuse. Even though the UN resolution has no enforcement of rules behind it, it still took months to negotiate the wording for the broad principles.

“Today, all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have spoken in one voice, and together, chosen to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in remarks to the Assembly. “Because ultimately, the risks and benefits of AI have the potential to impact all of us, and so, approaching it requires all of us. The resolution we just adopted reflected our shared responsibility, and collective fate. It leaves no one behind. It lays the groundwork for AI systems that leave no one behind, either.”

The resolution reflects the broader trend of AI regulation adoption among countries and political alliances. The European Union recently adopted a provisional framework to oversee the technology. That followed an agreement among France, Germany, and Italy on rules regulating generative AI and large language models (LLMs) like mandatory self-regulation for generative AI foundation model developers of AI through ethical codes of conduct. In the U.S., the Biden administration has been pressing Congress for AI regulation and issued an executive order in October to reduce AI risks. That led to the appointment of White House economic policy advisor Elizabeth Kelly as the first director of the new AI Safety Institute (AISI)

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