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

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During the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on leaders to support digital “inclusion” efforts. He said that India’s G20 presidency in 2023 will focus on “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 translation of his speech, which he delivered in Hindi.

Modi insisted on the importance of digital public infrastructure, including digital ID, and digital public goods. He said digital inclusion means closing the digital gap that exists at the global 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,” Modi said.

Modi used India to illustrate his point, saying that the country has made significant progress in digital transformation through 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.

In related news, G20 leaders called for the adoption of an international digital vaccine certificate to prepare for future pandemics.

“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.

“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.”

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