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Post 2015, poverty eradication must top development agenda: India at UN

world Updated: Sep 25, 2013 14:31 IST

India has said the focus of the post-2015 development agenda should be the eradication of hunger and poverty, besides priority being given to ensuring food security and universal access to modern energy services.

During the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said the ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’ must carry forward and complete the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals.

"In crafting the Post-2015 Development Agenda, we must ensure that it is based on the Rio principles, including that of common but differentiated responsibilities, which were reaffirmed at Rio+20," he said.

"At Rio+20, world leaders agreed that poverty is not only the greatest global challenge but also an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The central focus of the Post-2015 Development Agenda must, therefore, be on ending poverty and hunger once and for all."

Khurshid said the agenda should also prioritise other core issues such as "ensuring food security and universal access to modern energy services, full and productive employment for our youth, managing urbanisation, creation of infrastructure, rationalising consumption patterns and reducing the wastage of food in developed countries."

The Union minister also assured the international community of India’s "strong commitment" to sustainable development.

"We need sustainable development to lift millions of our people out of poverty and for them to have a better quality of life. In fact, sustainability has been mainstreamed as one of the primary goals of our five-year plan. Sustainable development must be pursued with a balanced and holistic emphasis on all its three dimensions, economic, social and environmental," he said.

Khurshid called for the political forum to be a platform for action-oriented collaboration, which gives special attention to needs and priorities of the developing countries, while ensuring that their developmental policy space is fully preserved.

He further stressed that post-2015 development agenda must succeed in crafting a global partnership to provide enhanced means of implementation to developing countries.

India underlined that efforts must be made at "genuine reform" of the institutions of global economic governance, to give voice and effective participation to developing countries.

Pointing to the "gross disparity and imbalance" in the global consumption of natural resources, Khurshid said international effort to achieve sustainable development must be premised on an equitable sharing of the planet’s resources.

"This is not just an economic or environmental necessity; it is also a moral and ethical imperative."

He added that the report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda has drawn attention to the fact that the over one billion poorest people on this planet account for a mere 1% of total global consumption, while the billion richest consume over two-thirds of it.

"This stark imbalance must change if we are serious in our quest for the sustainability of our planet," Khurshid said.