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SEOUL: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday urged the international community to collaboratively seek methods to advance democracy and safeguard individuals’ safety in the utilisation of new digital technologies.

Yoon appealed the commencement of the ministerial conference of the 3rd Summit for Democracy, an assembly hosted by South Korea this year under the theme “Democracy for Future Generations,“ reported Yonhap news agency.

“With a keen sense of responsibility, we must exchange our insights and combine our expertise so that artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging digital technologies can enhance democracy while also ensuring the safety of individuals and society,“ the president said.

He highlighted that the ministerial meeting, themed “AI, digital technologies, and democracy,“ would provide an opportunity to delve into both the advantages and challenges posed by digital technologies.

“AI and the advancement of digital technology are bringing to life humanity’s visions beyond the confines of time and space in the real world,“ he commented.

“However, disinformation and misinformation aided by AI and digital technology not only impinge on individuals’ freedom and human rights but also pose a threat to the democratic system.”

Yoon recalled unveiling South Korea’s Digital Bill of Rights in New York in September last year, outlining the values and principles of a digital society aimed at expanding people’s freedoms.

“I emphasised that the benefits of digital technologies should be equally accessible to all and should not jeopardise the safety of individuals and society.

“I also stressed the need for continuous pursuit of digital innovation for the sustainable prosperity of humanity and underscored that the international community must unite for AI and digital technologies to contribute to global peace and prosperity,“ he stated.

The Summit for Democracy, launched in 2021 and spearheaded by the United States (US), aims to bolster democracy and counter authoritarianism worldwide.

The leaders’ plenary is scheduled to take place virtually on Wednesday evening, the concluding day of the three-day summit, with Yoon, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Kenyan President William Ruto inaugurating the session.