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Indian PM urges G-20 leaders to support digital inclusion efforts at Bali summit

Indian PM urges G-20 leaders to support digital inclusion efforts at Bali summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has called on G-20 leaders to join global efforts in making access to digital public goods more inclusive if the benefits of digital transformation must be fully enjoyed by all and sundry.

Modi was speaking in the Indonesian province of Bali on 16 November during a G-20 summit session on digital transformation in which he also announced that India’s G-20 presidency in 2023 will be based on the principle of ‘data for development.’

“Can we take a pledge together that in the next ten years, we will bring digital transformation in the life of every human being, so that no person in the world will be deprived of the benefits of digital technology,” said Modi, according to a translated version of his speech which he delivered in Hindi.

In the speech, Modi also underlined the importance of digital public goods and digital public infrastructure, including digital ID. He adds that ensuring digital inclusion also means closing up the wide digital divide that still exists at the international level.

“In India, we are making digital access public, but at the international level, there is still a huge digital divide. Citizens of most developing countries of the world do not have any kind of digital identity. Only 50 countries have digital payment systems.”

The PM cites the example of his country India where significant digital transformation strides have been achieved, largely by leveraging the power of digital public infrastructure.

“India’s experience of the past few years has shown us that if we make digital architecture inclusive, it can bring about socio-economic transformation. Digital use can bring scale and speed. Transparency can be brought in governance. India has developed digital public goods whose basic architecture has in-built democratic principles” said Modi.

“These solutions are based on open source, open APIs, open standards, which are interoperable and public. This is our approach based on the digital revolution that is going on in India today. Take, for example, our Unified Payment Interface (UPI),” he added.

The call from Modi for inclusive digital systems come not long after a an advocacy publication suggested that during its G-20 presidency, India should work to make sure that the discourse on cross-border data flow and privacy reflects the needs and aspirations of poorer nations.

G-20 leaders want int’l collaboration on digital vaccine certificates

Meanwhile, in a G-20 related story, there is a call from the group on the need for international collaboration for the adoption of digital vaccine certificates in preparation for any future pandemic outbreaks.

“We acknowledge the importance of shared technical standards and verification methods, under the framework of the IHR (2005), to facilitate seamless international travel, interoperability, and recognizing digital solutions and non-digital solutions, including proof of vaccinations,” reads a declaration by the G-20 leaders during their recent meeting in Bali, as quoted by Sociable.

“We support continued international dialogue and collaboration on the establishment of trusted global digital health networks as part of the efforts to strengthen prevention and response to future pandemics, that should capitalize and build on the success of the existing standards and digital COVID-19 certificates,” they add.

The leaders also resolved to promote and share technology and expertise as part of the efforts needed to meet their objectives.

The adoption of digital vaccine certificates became popular during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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