More than 150 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will gather at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Friday at the UN Headquarters in New York to adopt an ambitious and sustainable development agenda.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) aim to encourage all nations to focus on three dimensions of development: economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the summit where he is expected to speak on India’s stand on sustainability and climate change. India and the United States have agreed on strategic partnership in climate issues.
Before leaving for New York, the Cabinet chaired by PM Modi had cleared India’s stand on climate negotiations and SDGs. India is keen to implement the SDG targets provided the rich nations supply adequate finance and technology to continue with the low carbon growth pathway.
Domestic studies show India will be able to achieve most targets set by the UN. Indian officials said New Delhi was satisfied with the SDG negotiations. “For us, the overarching objective of our efforts was quite straightforward – to ensure that the development agenda remains sensitive to and supportive of the development policies and initiatives of developing countries, including India. In this, we are broadly quite satisfied with the final outcome”, said Asoke Kumar Mukherjee, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
The SDGs will replace the Millennium Development Goals 2015 and the targets will have to be met by 2030. The MDGs were primarily aimed at improving social indicators whereas the SDGs widen this ambit to include sustainable and inclusive growth. The monitoring mechanism for SDGs will be finalised by the UN Stastical Commission by March 2016. The government does not want the monitoring system to be intrusive and the mechanism will be discussed in the next few months, officials in Delhi said.
Referring to the consensus reached by the member states on the summit outcome document, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “This agreement encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world”. He termed it a people’s agenda and a plan for “ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind.” It took the world around three years to agree on the SDGs, which were initiated by Ki-moon at the Rio+ 20 summit in 2012.