challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a global coordinated response harnessing digital technologies. virtual G20 Digital Economy Ministers meeting was convened to discuss the India was represented by the Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT . The meeting was also attended by Digital Ministers of 19 other G20 Members, invited countries and International organisations.
Digital Ministers’ Meeting
The Digital Economy Ministers Meeting took place as part of the Sherpa Track for the G20 Leaders Summit 2020, which is to be hosted by Saudi Arabia at the end of 2020. G20 Digital Economy Task Force statement calls for a coordinated global digital response to fight the pandemic, adopting measures to strengthen communication infrastructure and network connectivity, non-personal data exchange in a secured manner, use of digital solutions for healthcare, cyber secured world and measures to strengthen resilience of businesses.
At the meeting, G20 Digital Ministers agreed to leverage the potential of digital medium to contain the pandemic and protect people. The Union Minister emphasized that G20 nations have a responsibility that everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of the ongoing pandemic. He also emphasised on data-related issues and sovereign rights of countries to protect data privacy and security of its citizens.
Consultations for the annual G20 meeting are conducted through three tracks. Government discussions take place under the finance and sherpa tracks. Civil society organizations participate through engagement groups. The sherpa track includes meetings of Ministers and relevant senior officials focused on socioeconomic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade and investment.
The Saudi Arabian Presidency has selected the theme, “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All”. The three key agenda items to be addressed under this theme are: “Empowering People, by creating the conditions in which all people – especially women and youth – can live, work and thrive”; “Safeguarding the Planet, by fostering collective efforts to protect our global commons”; and “Shaping New Frontiers, by adopting long-term and bold strategies to share benefits of innovation and technological advancement.”