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Home78th Session United Nations General AssemblyArtificial Intelligence for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

Artificial Intelligence for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals:  Addressing Society’s Greatest Challenges

 September 18, 2023 | New York Public Library

Artificial Intelligence for Accelerating Progress on Sustainable Development Goals Event

“Governments and the private sector must commit to harnessing artificial intelligence to address society’s greatest challenges.”—Secretary Blinken

The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) has spurred remarkable transformations – revolutionizing industries and influencing how the global economy functions. If deployed effectively and harnessed responsibly, AI promises to drive inclusive and sustainable growth, reducing poverty and inequality, advancing environmental sustainability, improving lives, and empowering individuals in developing countries.   

Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States will convene a ministerial side event on September 18, 2023, during this year’s United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week in New York focused on AI’s potential to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The event will feature leading AI developers demonstrating the practical AI applications that support sustainable development goals and leading voices discussing the prospects and limitations of AI.  This high-level engagement will demonstrate a new commitment by countries, companies, and the multi-stakeholder community to ensuring that AI serves the interests of humanity.  


Speakers from Co-Convening Countries

  • Director-General for Global Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Ambassador Takeshi Akahori
  • Deputy Minister of Kenya Dr. Korir Singoei
  • Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan 
  • Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence of Spain Carme Artigas
  • Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom James Cleverly
  • Secretary of the United States of America State Antony J. Blinken

Other Speakers

  • Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen
  • United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology Amandeep Singh Gill


  • International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin
  • United Nations Population Fund Executive Director Natalia Kanem
  • World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (spoke on his behalf World Health Organization Director for the Department of Digital Health and Innovation Dr. Alain Labrique)

AI Applications Demonstrations on Stage

  1. Anthropic – Head of Policy and Societal Impacts Michael Sellitto
  2. Amazon – Vice President for Data & AI, Amazon Web Services at Amazon Web Services Swami Sivasubramanian (with Hurone AI, Inc. Founder & Chief Strategist Kingsley Ndoh – Nigeria)
  3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – President of Global Health Dr. Trevor Mundel (with Director, Saeeda Waheed Gender Initiative, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, SBA School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences (CEO of AWAAZ-E-SEHAT) Maryam Mustafa – Pakistan)
  4. Carnegie Mellon University – Dean of the College of Engineering William (Bill) Sanders (with CMU Africa Masters Student in Information Technology Choukouriyah Arinloye – Benin)
  5. Google – President of Global Affairs and Chief legal officer of Alphabet Kent Walker (with Wadhwani AI CEO Shekar Sivasubramanian – India)
  6. IBM – Chief Impact Officer Justina Nixon-Saintil (with Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Leshchenko)
  7. Inflection AI – CEO Mustafa Suleyman
  8. Meta – Vice President of Public Policy for Africa Kojo Boakye (with World Bank Senior Geographer Benjamin Stewart)
  9. Microsoft – Vice President and Chief Data Scientist at Microsoft Juan Lavista Ferres
  10. OpenAI – Vice President of Global Affairs Anna Makanju (with Khan Academy Chief External Relations Officer Vicki Zubovic)
  11. Schmidt Futures – Co-CEO Elizabeth Young McNally (with Chief Strategy Officer of Rising Academies George Cowell)

U.S. Department of State

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