Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani has been named by the United Nations to a key advocacy group on Millennium Development Goals, whose mandate includes finding ways to fight socio-economic evils such as poverty.
Ambani is the only Indian to be a part of the MDG Advocacy Group that comprises eminent international personalities including Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, philanthropist Ted Turner and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, among others.
Ambani is expected to focus on a global partnership for development, that will include development of an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.
UN said the top Indian industrialist will also look at the special needs of the least developed countries (LDC), as well as landlocked developing countries and small island developing states.
The MDGs are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 global organisations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.
These include reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS and developing a global partnership for development.
The MDG Advocacy Group will support the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in building political will and mobilising global action, says the world body.
One of the first tasks of the Advocacy Group is the preparatory process for the MDG Summit in September this year. The MDG Summit is being seen as a turning point in the collective effort to achieve the goals by the 2015 target date.
Ambani's appointment to the advocacy group comes at a time when the 2010 Millennium Development Goals report card paints a dark picture for South Asia, including India.
Ambani is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry, government of India, and the Board of Governors of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
He is also the Vice-Chairman of The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.
Apart from being a member of the Indo-US CEOs Forum, Mukesh Ambani is also on the International Advisory Board of Citigroup, the National Board of Kuwait and the McKinsey Knowledge Advisory Council.