United Nations Must Embrace Blockchain: UN Secretary-General


United Nations (UN) secretary-general António Guterres said the organization must embrace blockchain technology. According to a Dec. 28 Forbes report, Guterres believes that blockchain should be among the technologies used by the UN. 

“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,” he said.

This is not the first time that Guterres spoke highly of the potential of blockchain technology. As Cointelegraph reported in July last year, at the time he created a “High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation,” which explicitly put blockchain technology on the agenda.

In September 2018, he also spoke of how trust in national institutions, among states and in a rule-based global order has declined and how technologies, particularly blockchain, can help mitigate the issue. Still, he spoke less positively about cryptocurrencies:

“Organized criminal networks lurk on the dark web, profiting from encryption and near-anonymous cryptocurrency payments to traffic in people and illegal goods.”

Similarly, in late August, chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program Neil Wals warned that crypto makes combating money laundering significantly harder.

United Nations and blockchain

Since Guterres created the digital cooperation program, blockchain use on the United Nation’s part has seen significant growth. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the UN launched a blockchain tool aiming to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers in Hong Kong with a blockchain financial services firm earlier this month.

According to July reports, the UN is also working on blockchain solutions for sustainable urban development in Afghanistan. 

Lastly, in April the president of the United Nations’ specialized agency for aviation has said that blockchain technology could offer tremendous benefits across aviation systems globally.