United Nations — The U.N. General Assembly adopted by consensus Thursday a first-of-its-kind resolution addressing the potential of artificial intelligence to accelerate progress toward sustainable development, while emphasizing the need for safe, secure and trustworthy AI systems.

The initiative, led by the United States, seeks to manage AI’s risks while utilizing its benefits.

“Today as the U.N. and AI finally intersect, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to choose as one united global community to govern this technology rather than to let it govern us,” said U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “So let us reaffirm that AI will be created and deployed through the lens of humanity and dignity, safety and security, human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The Biden administration said it took more than three months to negotiate what it characterized as a “baseline set of principles” around AI, engaging with 120 countries and incorporating feedback from many of them, including China, which was one of the 123 co-sponsors of the text.

While General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, they reflect the political consensus of the international community.

The resolution recognizes the disparities in technological development between developed and developing countries and stresses the need to bridge the digital divide so everyone can equitably access the benefits of AI.

It also outlines measures for responsible AI governance, including the development of regulatory frameworks, capacity building initiatives and support for research and innovation. The resolution encourages international collaboration to address the evolving challenges and opportunities AI technologies pose, with a focus on advancing sustainable development goals.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed adoption of the resolution, saying all nations must be guided by a common set of understandings on the use of AI systems.

“Too often, in past technological revolutions, the benefits have not been shared equitably, and the harms have been felt by a disproportionate few,” she said in a statement. “This resolution establishes a path forward on AI where every country can both seize the promise and manage the risks of AI.”

At the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, in January, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern about the risk of unintended consequences with “every new iteration of generative AI.” He said it has “enormous potential” for sustainable development but also the potential to worsen inequality.

“And some powerful tech companies are already pursuing profits with a clear disregard for human rights, personal privacy and social impact,” he said at the time.

The U.N. chief created an AI advisory body last year, and it will publish its final report ahead of the U.N.’s Summit of the Future in September.