G7 consensus reached on advancing AI for sustainable development

G7 consensus reached on advancing AI for sustainable development
Adolfo Urso, Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy (left) and Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer at UNDP, during the G7 Ministerial, in Verona, Italy.

The ministers of the G7 countries reached a landmark consensus in Verona, Italy on the critical global debate of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Under the scope ‘Digital Development – Growing Together’, G7 countries acknowledged the need to work in partnership with developing countries to strengthen local AI digital ecosystems. 

Collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Italian G7 Presidency championed the need for new multi-stakeholder partnerships to foster local impact in developing countries. Key areas include democratising computing power, developing open and secure data models, and strengthening capacities to advance AI for sustainable development. These seek to ensure that access to AI is equitable, inclusive and responsible, thereby supporting safe, secure and trustworthy development and deployment.   

“In line with the Italy-Africa Mattei Plan, the Ministry of Enterprises & Made in Italy is grateful for the achievement of this consensus on digital development in the G7 Ministerial. The engagement with Africa – governments, the private sector, including start-ups and industries – has strengthened our resolve that we must democratise AI resources, and ‘walk the talk’,” said Adolfo Urso, Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy. 

In a milestone year for digital development, the Italian G7 Presidency and the Brazilian G20 Presidency are both advancing dialogues and actions, with AI identified as a common priority for sustainable development.   

“Brazil’s G20 Presidency congratulates Italy for the consensus achieved in Verona. In line with our G20 theme on mobilising actions for a just world and a sustainable planet, we look forward to working together with the G7 countries and other partners in the G20 to move forward our priority on AI to drive sustainable development and to reduce inequalities,” said Ambassador Luciano Mazza de Andrade, Chair of Brazil’s G20 Digital Economy Working Group. 

Recognising the significance of this pivotal consensus, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said: “Bridging the gap between global discussion and local impact is paramount — helping to ensure that all communities, everywhere, can better unlock the immense potential of AI to advance next-generation development solutions, from climate action to pioneering new financial mechanisms.

Leveraging the UNDP Rome Centre as a platform to foster new partnerships and investment — from both the public and private sectors — UNDP is proud to work alongside the G7 to advance more equitable partnerships with developing countries in helping to ensure that AI is a catalyst for positive change on a global scale.”

Following this significant milestone achieved in Italy through the landmark ‘Verona Process on Digital Development’, the Italian G7 Presidency and UNDP will continue their engagement to co-design an AI Hub for Sustainable Development with countries in Africa in 2024, including with stakeholders from the technology industry and start-ups that are committed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

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