AI, cybersecurity, reforms: Highlights from Indian PM Modi's G20 address

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, during his address on the second day of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, reaffirmed his call for global institutional reforms, including the expansion of the United Nations Security Council.

He also highlighted several ideas and initiatives being advanced during India's G20 presidency, such as the development of Digital Public Infrastructure and the formation of the Startup 20 engagement group.

He also called out the countries to come together for a framework against burning issues like cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, and framework for Responsible Human-Centric AI governance.

Addressing session 3 ‘One future’ of the G20 Summit on Sunday, PM Modi said, “Yesterday, we had extensive discussions in the One Earth and One Family sessions. I am satisfied that today the G-20 has become a platform for optimistic efforts regarding the vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future. I have continuously drawn your attention to Human Centric Vision instead of GDP Centric Approach”.

Prime Minister reiterated his stance of making global systems in accordance with the “realities of the present” and took the example of the United Nations Security Council.

“When the UN was established, the world at that time was completely different from today. At that time there were 51 founding members in the UN. Today the number of countries included in the UN is around 200. Despite this, the permanent members in UNSC are still the same,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that a lot has changed in the world since that time, be it transport, communication, health, education, every sector has been transformed.

“These new realities should be reflected in our new global structure. It is a law of nature that individuals and organizations that fail to adapt to changing times inevitably lose their relevance. We must think with an open mind as to what is the reason that many regional forums have come into existence in the past years, and they are also proving to be effective,” he further said.

While making a pitch for the reformation of global institutions, PM Modi also gave the example of making African Union a permanent member of the G20.

“Today, it is necessary for every global organization to reform to increase its relevance. With this in mind, yesterday we have taken the historic initiative of making the African Union a permanent member of the G-20. Similarly, we will also have to expand the mandate of Multilateral Development Banks. Our decisions in this direction should be immediate and also effective,” he added.

Notably, the African Union’s inclusion as a permanent member of the G20 was a major takeaway of India’s Presidency.

African Union’s inclusion in G20 was among India's key priorities in the G20 summit under its presidency. African Union’s inclusion in the G20 grouping was proposed by PM Modi in June this year.

PM Modi further stated that India has so many ideas, that it has a lot to share with the whole world.

“Today many countries like India have so much that we are sharing with the whole world. India has talked about sharing the data of the Chandrayaan Mission with everyone in the interest of humanity. This is also proof of our commitment towards Human Centric Growth. India has harnessed technology to foster inclusive development and facilitate last-mile delivery. Even in our most remote villages, the small-scale traders are using digital payments,” PM Modi said.

He added, “I am happy that under India's chairmanship, a strong framework for Digital Public Infrastructure has been agreed upon. Similarly, ‘G20 Principles on Harnessing Data for Development’ have also been accepted. It has also been decided to launch the ‘Data for Development Capacity Building Initiative’ for the development of Global South. Formation of Startup 20 engagement group during the Presidency of India is also a big step”.

Prime Minister Modi also raised the unprecedented scale and speed of new-generation technologies including Artificial Intelligence, and proposed a framework for Responsible Human-Centric AI governance.

“Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented scale and speed in new-generation technologies. Artificial Intelligence is such example in front of us. In 2019, the we adopted the "Principles on AI”. Today, we need to take one step further. I propose that we establish a framework for Responsible Human-Centric AI governance. India will also give its suggestions in this regard. It will be our endeavor that all countries get the benefits of AI in areas like Socio-Economic Development, Global Workforce and R&D,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi further raised concern over the burning issues like cyber security and crypto-currency, which are facing both the present as well as the future generations.

“Today, our world is also facing some other burning problems, which are affecting both the present and future of all our countries. We are familiar with the challenges of cyber security and crypto-currency. The field of crypto-currency has emerged as a new topic for everyone i.e social order, monetary and financial stability. Therefore, we have to develop global standards to regulate crypto-currencies. We have the Basel standards on bank regulation in front of us as a model,” the Prime Minister said.

He added, “It is imperative that we take concrete steps in this direction as soon as possible. Likewise, global cooperation and a framework for cybersecurity are essential. Terrorism is exploiting new channels and new funding methods from the cyber world, making it a critical issue for the security and prosperity of every nation. Only when we take care of the security of every country and the sensitivity of every country, the feeling of One Future will be strengthened”.

He added that in a rapidly changing world market, not just transformation, but sustainability and stability are also needed.

“Come! Let us pledge that we will take our resolutions of Green Development Pact, Action Plan on SDGs, High-level Principles on Anti-corruption, Digital Public Infrastructure, and MDB Reforms to fruition,” PM Modi said while concluding his address at the Session 3.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi announced the conclusion of the G20 Summit and proposed to hold a virtual G20 session in November to review the suggestions and proposals made at the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

“As you all know India has the responsibility of G20 presidency till November 2023. In these two days, all of you gave a lot of suggestions and placed proposals. It is our duty to see how faster progress can be achieved on these,” PM Modi said.

He added, "I propose that at the end of November, we hold a virtual session of G20. We can review the topics decided in this Summit, in that virtual session. I hope you all will connect in the virtual session. With this, I declare the conclusion of the G20 Summit," he added.

Before declaring that the summit had ended, PM Modi handed over the ceremonial gavel of the Group of 20 presidency to Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"I congratulate Brazilian President and my friend Lula da Silva and hand over the gavel of Presidency," PM Modi said.

Earlier Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva handed over saplings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Session 3 of the G20 Summit.

While Indonesia held the G20 presidency last year, Brazil will hold the presidency after India.

India took over the G20 presidency on December 1 last year at the G20 Summit in Bali and will continue to hold it till the end of November.

India’ theme for the G20 Presidency was also ‘One Earth One Family One Future’, whose Sanskrit translation goes as ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

Notably, throughout India’s presidency, raising the voice of Global South and the developing nations was at the forefront of New Delhi’s agenda.

The New Delhi Declaration was adopted by G20 leaders on Saturday, the first day of the Summit, with full consensus, giving a show of India’s diplomatic ability at the global level.


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