Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 22, expressed his gratitude to all of the present dignitaries for accepting his invitation and joining the Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on behalf of 140 crore Indians.
Addressing the Summit virtually, he said that G20 Summit has emphasised adopting a human-centric approach while supporting innovation and digital technology. He noted that the G20 has strengthened confidence in multilateralism.
In his opening remarks at G20 Virtual Summit, PM Modi said that G20 under India’s Presidency came to be recognised as People’s 20 as crores of people in the country got connected with G20 and celebrated it as a festival.
He said, “The G20 has emphasised adopting a human-centric approach while strongly supporting innovation and digital technology. The G20 has strengthened our confidence in multilateralism.”
“Together we have given direction to multilateral development banks and global governance reform and with this, G20 has got the recognition of People’s 20 under the presidency of India. Crores of people in the country got connected with G20. We celebrated it as the festival,” he added.
He recalled his earlier remarks when he said that India will make G20 “inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive.” He stressed that mutual trust binds and connects people in today’s world full of distrust and challenges.
PM Modi said, I remember when my friend and President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo on November 16 last year handed me the ceremonial gavel. I had said that together we will make G20 inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. During one year, we all have done this together and together we have taken G20 to new heights.”
“In today’s world full of distrust and challenges, it is mutual trust that binds us and connects us to each other. In this one year, we have expressed our belief in ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ and instead of controversies, we have shown unity and cooperation,” he added.
He spoke about the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20. He said that around 130 nations, which participated in the ‘Voice of Global South Summit,’ appreciated decisions taken for the Global South during the G20 Leaders Summit held in Delhi in September.
“I can never forget that moment when all of us in Delhi unanimously welcomed the African Union to the G20. The message of inclusivity that G20 has given to the entire world is unprecedented. It is a matter of pride for India that Africa got a voice under its G20 Presidency,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi, in his opening remarks of the Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, condemned terrorism and also “welcomed” the release of hostages in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Prime Minister Modi also called on the G20 leaders to raise their voices against terrorism.
“India is ready to walk along with member countries of G20 in combating terrorism in all its forms, adding that death of civilians in any manner is condemnable. From the point of view of human welfare, we can raise our voice against terrorism and violence and for humanity,” he added.
Impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Further, PM Modi highlighted the growing global apprehensions about the adverse impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly deepfake technology.
Emphasising the need for international collaboration, PM Modi said the world is collectively concerned about the potentially negative effects of AI, warranting a unified effort in establishing global regulations.
Addressing the virtual gathering, PM Modi stated, “The world is worried about the negative effects of AI. India believes that we have to work together on the global regulations for AI.”
He underscored the urgency of comprehending the risks posed by deepfake technology, emphasising the importance of concerted action to address these challenges. “Understanding how dangerous deepfake is for society and individuals, we need to work forward,” he said.
PM Modi further stressed the imperative of making AI accessible to the masses while ensuring its safety for society. “We want AI to reach the people; it must be safe for society,” he said, emphasising the dual objective of expanding AI’s benefits while safeguarding against potential risks.
PM Modi has earlier also raised caution over the rising threats of artificial intelligence in generating deepfakes. Prime Minister Modi said that there is a challenge arising because of Artificial Intelligence and deepfake.
“A big section of our country has no parallel option for verification. People often end up believing in deepfakes and this can create turmoil and unrest in society,” he said at Diwali Milan programme held at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi on November 17.
Referring to the Israel-Hamas war, Prime Minister Modi asserted that terrorism is “unacceptable” and said that India is ready to walk along with member countries of G20 in combating terrorism in all its forms, adding that the death of civilians in any manner is condemnable.
At the New Delhi Summit, I had talked about green credit regarding environmental protection.
You know that in India we have started it. Through the Global Biofuels Alliance launched in New Delhi, we are reducing carbon as well as promoting the development of alternative fuels.
The G20 has recognised mission LiFE, i.e. Lifestyle for Environment, for a pro-planet approach; called for taking renewable energy three times by 2030; shown commitment towards clean hydrogen; recognised the need to take climate finance from billions to trillions.
In a few days, during the COP-28 which will be held in the UAE, concrete steps need to be taken on all these initiatives.
PM Modi in his address also mentioned about the new working group on women empowerment that has been formed. In this context, he expressed his happiness to share that India has taken a historic decision in the first session of its new Parliament House.
In order to strengthen women-led development, the Government have decided for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and State legislative assemblies.
Leaders of all G20 members, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau as well as nine guest countries and heads of 11 international organisations were also present.
The virtual G20 Summit is being held under the chairmanship of PM Modi.
The 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in New Delhi on September 9 and 10. It saw the unanimous adoption of the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration which demonstrated the commitment of the G20 leaders to address global challenges in an inclusive, decisive and action-oriented manner.
At the closing session of the Leaders’ Summit, PM Modi suggested to the G20 leaders to reconvene virtually towards the end of India’s G20 presidency period to take forward the guidance provided by the participating leaders in their interventions.
India assumed G20 Presidency on December 1, 2022 and it will continue till November 30.
He stressed that, our Aspirational District Program stands as a notable example of progress in the SDGs at the local level in India and invited the G20 countries and the Global South to examine the Aspirational District Programme, and witness the transformative impact it has had on the lives of 25 crore people in India.