First Conference at the United Nations on the Citizen Stack: Digital Public Infrastructure, Transformative Technology for Citizens

First Conference at the United Nations on the Citizen Stack: Digital Public Infrastructure, Transformative Technology for CitizensNew Delhi, April 30, 2024: Hosted by the Permanent Mission of India and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in collaboration with iSPIRT, the inaugural United Nations conference on Digital Public InfrastructureCitizen Stack brought together global leaders, technology innovators, and policy experts to explore the global implementation of digital public infrastructure on April 25th & 26th, 2024 at UN Headquarters, New York. The conference prominently featured India’s pioneering Citizen Stack initiative, inspired by the transformative India Stack, showcasing the nation’s successful integration of technology into citizen services. This event marked a significant step in promoting international cooperation for the development of digital infrastructure globally. 

Key speakers from the United Nations System included His Excellency Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly, and Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. The Honorable Minister for Railways, Communications, and Electronics & Information Technology of the Government of India, Shri Ashwini Vaishnav reiterated India’s commitment to sharing the Citizen Stack globally, aligning with the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family.” 

In her opening address, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj underscored India’s dedication to enhancing global discussions on digital transformation. G20 Sherpa Mr. Amitabh Kant delivered a compelling keynote on “Advancing the Digital Frontier using Citizen Stack,” highlighting the significant changes DPI has brought to governance. Mr. Sharad Sharma, Co-Founder of iSPIRT, detailed the key aspects of India’s DPI framework and introduced Citizen Stack as a leading global standard in DPI implementation. Prominent global figures, including French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Mr. Henri Verdier, Dame Wendy Hall from the Web Science Institute, and Mr. Amandeep Gill Singh, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Technology, discussed the role of DPI in enhancing trust and transparency in digital ecosystems. 

The conference also showcased case studies demonstrating how components of Citizen Stack, like the Modular Open Source Identity Platform, are helping countries such as Ethiopia and the Philippines tailor DPI to their specific needs and achieve digital sovereignty. It highlighted the crucial role of public-private policy partnerships in driving innovation, with contributions from startups, global MNCs, and academics. These discussions underscored India’s position as a benchmark in DPI implementation. DPI Safeguards to ensure data protection and privacy in the deployment of digital infrastructures and the open networks built by Citizen Stack, which are pivotal in fostering interoperability and innovation across borders, were also key areas of discussion. 

India has invited all member states to join in embracing the digital transformation journey to boost economic activity, spur innovation, enhance citizen welfare, and streamline governance worldwide, leveraging DPI for collective prosperity and the sustainable development of all.

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