India says the UN General Assembly has a role to play in strengthening social development and adopting a people-centred approach to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
As high growth does not automatically lead to greater equality and social justice, direct anti-poverty programmes are necessary, Mabel Rebello, a member of the Indian delegation, said during a committee debate at the General Assembly Tuesday.
The first Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 cannot be achieved on target in the absence of a significant flow of resources and increased application of science and technology in developing countries, she said.
While private investment is important to achieve higher growth rates, the physical and social infrastructure is sometimes too weak in some developing countries to attract any investment.
Sequencing is therefore important. Equally important is the fulfilment of the commitment of 0.7 percent target of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and debt cancellation by the developed world. Similarly, it is imperative to identify innovative sources of financing, Rebello said.
The Indian experience could provide useful lessons to others, she said. Thus, liberalisation of the economy may need to follow a certain level of development of economic and scientific capacity. The role of the state is as important as that of the market, she said.
At the same time, unleashing entrepreneurial energies is also crucial. Education is an absolute must and constitutes the basis for the rapid development of science and technology and their application to most socio-economic areas. In this process, democratic governance also has a crucial role to play, Rebello said.
India, she said, looked forward to the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the UN General Assembly during 2006, as it believed it would be an important milestone in addressing the rights of about 650 million persons with disabilities.