Describing India as a natural ally of G7, PM Modi said democracy and freedom were part of India’s civilisational ethos. Sharing concerns that open societies were vulnerable to disinformation and cyber attacks, he underlined the need to ensure that cyber space remains an avenue for advancing democratic values, not subverting it.
Invited as lead speaker in a session on ‘Open Societies’, his references to cyber space can be read in the context of disinformation, data theft and cyber attacks being a part of tactics employed by state actors. The leaders adopted the ‘Open Societies Statement’ hailing freedom of expression—both online and offline—as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression.
The leaders adopted the ‘Open Societies Statement’ that hailed, among other things, freedom of expression, both online and offline.
“The PM highlighted India’s civilisational commitment to democracy, freedom of thought and liberty. As the world’s largest democracy, India is a natural ally for the G7 and guest nations in defending these shared values from a host of threats stemming from authoritarianism, terrorism and violent extremism, disinformation and infodemics and economic coercion,” MEA’s additional secretary P Harish said.
Indian officials also said the G7 leaders underlined their commitment to a free, open and a rules-based Indo-Pacific and resolved to collaborate with partners. Highlighting the nondemocratic nature of global institutions, Modi called for reform of the multilateral system as the best signal of commitment to the cause of open societies.