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G20 Virtual Summit: PM Modi welcomes release of hostages in Gaza, says civilian deaths are 'condemnable'

PM Modi said that insecurity and instability in West Asia is a matter of concern for all countries in the forum. This comes after Qatari mediators negotiated a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas in exchange for 50 hostages.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: November 22, 2023 20:55 IST
PM Narendra Modi at G20 Virtual Summit.
Image Source : PTI PM Narendra Modi at G20 Virtual Summit.

Addressing the G20 Virtual Summit on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the release of hostages in the four-day truce between Isreal and Hamas, and reiterated that terrorism is unacceptable for all countries.

"The deaths of civilians in any country is condemnable. Today, we welcome the news of hostages being released and hope that all remaining hostages are released as soon as possible. It is important to provide timely and sustained humanitarian assistance. It is also important to ensure that the war between Israel and Hamas does not widen into a regional issue," he said.

He also asserted that insecurity and instability in West Asia is a matter of concern for all countries in the forum and expressed confidence that countries can work towards a peaceful resolution. "From the perspective of human welfare, we can raise our voice against terrorism and violence and for humanity. India stands ready to fulfill these global expectations," the Prime Minister emphasised.

He also said that the G20 has increased confidence in multilateralism and thanked all countries for promoting unity and cooperation in the face of emerging conflicts and taking the forum to newer heights. 

"I remember last year, when on November 16, my friend and Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed over the ceremonial gavel. I said that together we will make G20 inclusive, ambitious...and decisive. In the last year we have been able to do that and reached new levels," he said in his opening remarks.

Focus on the Global South

PM Modi also said that the problems of the Global South must be prioritised for the development of the world in the 21st century, adding that many countries are facing difficulties for which they are not responsible.

"It is the need of the hour to provide full support to the development agenda. Reforms are essential to make the global economy and governance structures bigger, better, effective, representative and future-ready. Countries in urgent need should be provided with easier support," he said.

He also credited India's aspirational district programmes for their progress in local-level financial development goals (FDG) and invited the G20 leaders and representatives of the Global South to study the programmes.

'Artificial intelligence should reach people'

The Prime Minister also underscored that technology must be used responsibly in the context of concerns regarding the negative use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) today. 

"India has a clear stand that we must work together in the global regulations concerning AI. Deepfake is a very dangerous tool for society and an individual. We want AI should reach the people and it must be saved for society," PM Modi added.

He also announced a Global AI Partnership Summit next month. The Prime Minister also said that the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) repository has been created which has linked the DPIs of over 16 countries. 

He proposed social impact funds for DPI implementation in the countries of the Global South and also announced an initial fund of $25 million. PM Modi also highlighted India's contributions in green energy, climate finance and the Women's Reservation Bill 2023.

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