These four countries, which share the G7’s open and democratic values, were invited by the Prime Minister to attend the G7 Summit as guests. UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden welcomed their support as he chaired the second day of the G7 Digital and Tech Ministerial meeting.

It comes as the G7 signed a Ministerial Declaration yesterday which includes new agreements on internet safety, digitising trade, data free flow with trust, competition and digital technical standards.

The declaration sets out an ambitious vision for the role of technology in the world, including how it can support human rights and fundamental freedoms and address pressing challenges, such as the global recovery from COVID-19.

It includes new principles on how to tackle the global challenge of online safety, including that online firms have a corporate responsibility for their users’ safety and should have systems in place to reduce illegal and harmful activity, while prioritising the protection of children and human rights.

The UK Presidency has welcomed input and support from like-minded partners to this work.

Today, the G7 and invited guests enjoyed a positive discussion on the global role of governments in the digital environment.

There was agreement among guests on a broad range of issues facing governments in protecting and empowering their citizens, including the need to:

  • Build trust, which is fundamental to unlocking the value of the digital economy;
  • Ensure the competitiveness, transparency and accountability of online platforms, and uphold media freedom as the cornerstone of a functioning democracy; and
  • Address the shared global challenge of disinformation and continue to champion a free, open and secure internet.

The G7 and invited guests also discussed areas to collaborate together in a way that reinforces our open and democratic values, acknowledging that there is far more that joins us together than sets us apart.

UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

I welcome the support from the G7’s like-minded global partners for the ambitious vision we agreed yesterday. Together we will create a safer and more competitive online world that serves the needs of our citizens, businesses and economies.

Attendees also heard from the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurria, who noted that the COVID-19 crisis is placing digital technologies at the centre of building a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. The Chair of the Business 7 Digital Group, Rob Shuter, also contributed and highlighted the importance of global digital leadership by the G7 and welcomed leadership and cooperation between business and the G7.

The next key milestones will be the G7 Leaders Summit in June and the Future Tech Forum in September, where we will continue to address the longer-term issues facing the tech ecosystem.

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Statement: G7 Digital and Tech Ministerial, Day 2

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