A new world order is emerging as we approach the end of this decade. It is born from a revolution that, unlike the previous ones, presents more challenges and opportunities and will change our lives more deeply than any other before.
One of the great threats we face today is the deterioration of our environment, including desertification, loss of biodiversity and the contamination of water, air and soil. Climate change will define the contours of this century and determine the survival of human beings on our planet. I have no doubt that the quality of our response will be severely judged by our children, grandchildren and history.
At the same time, this new order offers possibilities of material and spiritual progress for billions of people as never before. Opportunities that, only a few years ago, were impossible to imagine. This is the revolution of knowledge, technology and information – the deepest, both in magnitude and scope, that humankind has known. This revolution will be very generous with those states that want to embrace it, but indifferent, and even cruel, with those who simply ignore it or let it pass.
Yet the opportunities brought by this revolution come with risks and challenges that far exceed the possibility for governments to act individually. The threats and dangers of modern society, such as terrorism and the effects of climate change, do not recognise any borders or jurisdictions.
In this context, Chile will be a part of the G7 Biarritz summit as a partner. The G7 summit takes place in a time of multilateral uncertainty and expects to be result-driven, reaching concrete achievements on the threat of climate change and the challenges and opportunities of the digital revolution for the benefit of our people.
Action on Climate change
The G7 summit will be a relevant landmark on the road towards the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Santiago, where more than 150 states will meet to launch the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
We want COP25 to focus on ambition and action, by raising our mandatory and differentiated commitments to keep the temperature rise below 1.5°C. This goal requires us to regulate the unresolved carbon market, strengthen our alliances with the private sector and incorporate new issues, including the protection of our oceans and poles.
The G7 Biarritz Climate Coalitions will be crucial to lay the groundwork on specific and significant areas. Improving the efficiency of cooling systems, moving to electro-mobility, pledging carbon neutrality by 2050 and protecting our oceans by eliminating plastic waste are all examples of concrete areas in which we will take on new climate commitments in Biarritz.
The digital revolution
We have a responsibility as heads of state or government to seize the revolution of knowledge and information while it is still knocking gently at our doors. In the case of emerging nations, such as Latin American states, this poses the additional – and unique – responsibility to vindicate our past and, above all, our future.
The burden is placed upon us, the community of states, to decide whether this revolution becomes a factor of unity and progress or a new source of rupture. The question is whether the second half of the 21st century will be a bridge that shortens the distances connecting developed and emerging nations or, on the contrary, a wall that furthers the distance between the world of the wealthy from that of the poor.
At the heart of this extraordinary revolution is the internet. It has empowered communities by giving them a voice, connecting millions of lives and fostering innovation and creativity.
However, we have found a challenge due to the increasing existence of harmful and illegal content and activity, where the victims are most often our citizens, especially our children – content that fuels violence and hate, putting our democratic values at risk and ultimately threatening the safety of our people. And while we recognise the importance of the internet as a common good and vector of progress, we witness every day an increasing risk of online abuse, particularly targeting women and vulnerable groups.
In Biarritz we will discuss with our partners how to find a balance between protecting the freedom of opinion and expression as vital democratic and human rights, and ensuring a secure digital revolution and preventing harmful content.
The partnerships we forge with digital platforms and social networks are the best way to counter terrorist content, violent extremism and child abuse. And while upholding the freedom of media, relevant stakeholders must increase transparency and accountability, carry out effective content reviews and enhance education.
No nation can face these challenges alone. That is why the community of states has the responsibility of guaranteeing a healthy planet for our children and ensuring that the benefits of the digital revolution reach all citizens and help close the existing gaps.