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UNGA78 Side Event
Artificial Intelligence for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: 
Addressing Society’s Greatest Challenge

(Monday, 18 September 2023, New York Public Library)

Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj,
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations

His Excellency Mr. Antony Blinken, 
Respected Foreign Ministers,
I Distinguished Guests,

1.     I am deeply honored to participate in this distinguished gathering, and I extend my gratitude to our co-organizers for bringing us together today.

2.    Well, AI is scarily powerful! And India, as the world's fastest-growing economy, acknowledges its pivotal role in this revolution. With the world's largest pool of skilled AI professionals, we are poised to lead the way. By 2035, AI has the potential to contribute an astounding one trillion dollars to India's economy.

3.     Our vision is crystal clear: "AI for All." We are committed to harnessing AI to propel inclusive growth, offer solutions for emerging economies, and confront global challenges while upholding the principles of responsible AI.

4.    And to realize this vision, India has taken strategic steps., in 2018, we unveiled the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.  In 2022, we introduced the National Artificial Intelligence Portal, 'INDIAai,' concurrently, we are crafting a National Data Governance Policy to strike a balance between data accessibility for innovation and safeguarding user privacy and security. India has also pioneered the establishment of four Centers of Excellence in AI, dedicated to supporting startups and fostering innovation with plans.  This inclusive approach encourages collaboration among all stakeholders, maximizing the advantages of AI while minimizing its risks.  

5.    I will also quickly add that, instances of AI application are abundant and diverse in India, from education to healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing and even defence.  Just last week, an Indian company unveiled the world’s first wide-area AI-powered anti-drone system, INDRAJAAL, highlighting India’s continuous innovation and utilization of AI technology in addressing real world challenges.

6.    And In our role as the Chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, India is actively steering the course of AI governance. During the recent successful G20 Summit, our Prime Minister proposed a "framework for Responsible Human-Centric AI governance." This framework aims to ensure that AI serves the global community while safeguarding against misuse.  To this end, we are excited to host the GPAI Summit in New Delhi from 12-14 December 2023.

7.    You might ask me, as Chair of GPAI, how do we plan to advance this process? We are committed to sharing our experiences with emerging economies, extending opportunities for growth through our ecosystem and initiatives, particularly for nations in the Global South.

8.    Simultaneously, we are acutely aware of the risks associated with AI. To address these concerns, we will prioritize safety in AI development, advocate for transparency, integrate ethics into AI systems, uphold principles of fairness and non-discrimination, and establish clear regulations, especially in sensitive sectors such as healthcare and finance. Collaboration across borders will be imperative.  We also recognize the need to invest in AI safety research.

9.    Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no doubt that the future belongs to AI. Prime Minister Modi envisions India as a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with robust public finances and a strong financial sector. However, and importantly, this vision always emphasizes a human touch, with the welfare of individuals and communities at the forefront. That is our guiding principle as we move forward.
    Thank you.