United Nations must Embrace Blockchain

Christopher Zenios06/01/20204min
António Guterres United Nations secretary-general says the UN needs to embrace blockchain.

The secretary – generals office provided a statement to Forbes where Guterres touted the technology initially popular due to bitcoin and crypto that generates $50 billion in revenue annually.

Guterres made this statement at a time where the Chinese president is making blockchain a national priority. The $6 billion United Nations Children’s Fund has also started to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for some projects. Due to this Guterres argues that the technology of blockchain is being trialled and explored at the highest level of many large organisations around the world.

Chinas focus on blockchain is in aid of battling and preventing money laundering, tracking citizens’ transactions. The UN will be able to focus more on providing reassurance to people that when donations are made it is spent appropriately and as they wish, reducing waste in the organisation’s supply chain.

Guterres commented:

For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Currently, there are five projects in the Innovation Network for the UN designed to facilitate inter-agency cooperation. Examples include the collaboration between the United Nations International Telecommunications Union and Food and Agriculture Organization that work together with blockchain technology to accurately track pig supply chains in Papua New Guinea. The United Nations Development Programme is also using blockchain to track the cocoa supply chain in Ecuador.

Even though some projects have been initiated it is still extremely difficult for an organisation as large as the UN to fully accept blockchain. Research firm Gartner predicts that 90% of blockchain projects will fail in the next three years. Despite this, the UN is pushing forward with projects that have the goal of reducing waste and promoting transparency in dealings.

Although the secretary-general does not have direct contact with the projects he is still the driving force behind all things blockchain. In 2018 Guterres published a 20-page plan for using technology to accomplish the sustainable development goals, in which he called for support of the Innovation Network’s use of blockchain and AI.

In this plan, Guterres executive office took responsibility for the coordination and implementation of the plan with the support of a new technology reference group, initiating quarterly meetings to provide him updates on the progress.

As we learn what is working and what is not, he wrote. “we will revisit the strategy and update it, ensuring its relevance to support a culture of innovation, and that our global efforts are benefiting from experiences at the country and regional levels.



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Christopher Zenios

Christopher has always been a pioneer, a first adopter when it comes to technological advancements. Over the years, his expertise surrounded the real estate and digital markets and their evolution in today's society. After being the editor to various professional business news portals and blogs, he was selected to become the chief editor for HWC. Contact Christopher at +357-22029786 ext: 6110 or by email at [email protected] for editorial related questions.

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