In a forceful articulation of India's case at the United Nations, Congress Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi has highlighted the need for a fresh assessment of nuclear energy as a clean and safe source of energy.
At a time when the Indo-US nuclear deal is still awaiting approval by the United States Congress, Gandhi told a United Nations committee meeting on Wednesday that developing countries like India must have the policy space to address their energy needs in the light of their individual circumstances.
"All significant energy sources—whether conventional or advanced fossil fuels based, or renewables, or civilian nuclear power—must remain in policy reckoning to address energy needs for sustainable development," he said.
He also sought to advance India's plea to establish a "Clean Technology Acquisition Fund" so as to help developing countries access critical technologies.
Representing India in a United Nations committee debate on sustained development, Gandhi said modern renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies remain expensive for developing countries.
"Institutions in industrialised and developing countries can share technologies resulting from collaborative research and development (R&D). We believe that this is an important and promising but unutilised area in partnerships for sustainable development," he said.
Pointing out that the international community has not lived up to its commitments since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro meet, he said critical technologies are beyond the reach of developing countries because of prohibitive costs under the existing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime.
"Intellectual Property Rights regime must represent the trade-offs between innovator incentives and wide human societal imperatives," he said and spoke of the need to revisit the Intellectual Property Rights regime to ensure that technologies necessary for sustainable development are made accessible to developing countries.
He also voiced India's acute concern over the current impasse in the Doha round of trade negotiations.
When agriculture was brought into multilateral negotiations, developing countries were given to understand that the trade distorting farm subsidies would be phased out within a definite timeframe.
But the expected gains continue to elude these countries, he said.
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