S20 contribution to G20 Extraordinary Digital Economy Ministers Meeting

The Science 20 attended the G20 Extraordinary Digital Economy Ministers Meeting on April 30, 2020.

The S20 Chair, Dr. Anas Alfaris, addressed the G20 ministers with the following speech:

“Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, your Excellences and colleagues.

On behalf of the Science 20, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for inviting the us to this Extraordinary G20 Ministers Meeting on Digital Economy. We welcome this meeting and support its goals. We also welcome the commitment of the G20 Leaders to work together to leverage digital technologies and strengthen scientific international cooperation.

COVID-19 sadly reminds us that we are far from equipped to prevent and respond to next outbreaks, and the need to fill the gaps in our body of knowledge. The unfolding crisis will have a bearing on the global economy and reinforce the significance of the digital economy. Yesterday, the B20 and the S20 issued a Joint Statement on Digitalization emphasizing the need for coordinated responses on important policy issues across the digital domain in response to COVID-19.

The Digital Economy brings significant value to combatting such pandemics. In this context and through your leadership, we call on the G20 Leaders to act on:

  1. Building inclusive, resilient and interoperable digital infrastructure to support a multitude of innovative applications especially for digital health infrastructure.
  1. Creating a trustworthy mechanism for secure data processing. This includes the development of digital standards for openness, transparency and consensus, and support for open data platforms.
  1. Adhering to responsible AI and machine learning principles and practices to develop human-centric and inclusive predictive computational models and simulations.
  1. Improving cyber-security to protect home and remote working.
  1. And committing to bridge the digital divide along income, age, geography and gender, and harnessing digital opportunities for creating new and better jobs.
  2. Ensuring that the research and deployment of digital health technologies are evidence-based and human-centric, and that any monitoring and tracing tools respects privacy and human rights.
  1. Designing smarter cities that enables swift emergency responses and management.

The S20’s theme for 2020 is Foresight: Science for Navigating Critical Transitions. It is a call to action aimed at maximizing opportunities and minimizing disruption brought about by the fast-evolving complex socio-technological developments in the health, environment and digital systems.

In conclusion, the S20 emphasizes the importance of adopting systems-level foresight and utilization of foresight tools to construct more intelligent systems of knowledge exchange and decision-making that transcend the individual sectors. The S20 promotes the G20’s collaborative role to address the critical connections and transformations between Digital Economy and other sectors for better preparedness to current and future disruptions.

Thank you”