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G20 ministers call for a coordinated global digital response to COVID-19 pandemic

G20 Digital Economy Task Force COVID-19 Ministerial statement called for a coordinated global digital response to fight the Coronavirus pandemic

  • A Virtual G20 Digital Economy Ministers meeting was convened to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • At the meeting, G20 Digital Ministers agreed to leverage the potential of the digital medium to contain the pandemic and protect people

New Delhi: G20 Digital Economy Task Force COVID-19 Ministerial statement called for a coordinated global digital response to fight the Coronavirus 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-secure world and measures to strengthen the resilience of businesses on Thursday. A Virtual G20 Digital Economy Ministers meeting was convened on Thursday to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a globally coordinated response harnessing digital technologies. 

India was represented by Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad. The meeting was also attended by Digital Ministers of 19 other G20 Members, invited countries and International Organisations.

G20 ministers agree to use digital medium to contain COVID-19 pandemic

At the meeting, G20 Digital Ministers agreed to leverage the potential of the digital medium to contain the pandemic and protect people. Prasad emphasised that the G20 nations have a responsibility to ensure that everything that is done during and after the COVID-19 crisis must be done 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. While highlighting the steps taken by India to contain the spread, he also offered a roadmap to the world to emulate. At the same time, he emphasised the importance of reviving the economy while continuing the fight against COVID-19.

The next phase of digitisation

He said that next phase of digitalization is about applications that will impact livelihoods, accelerate various sectors, strengthen the supply chain and build a cyber safe world. He impressed upon the G20 ministers that the present situation demands greater collaboration among stakeholders for providing solutions that can address issues related to social distancing, distributed workforce and the changing nature of global supply chain. He called on the G20 to come out with a concrete digital action plan to fight the global pandemic. He highlighted the critical role of Indian IT-ITeS industry in maintaining the Global Business Continuity and offered India as a lucrative destination for displaced Global Supply chains.