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PM leaves for G-20, Rio+20 summits

As Prime Minister left for two crucial back-to-back international summits today, India on Friday cautioned against trade restrictive measures and protectionism in the garb of pushing for green economy norms.

delhi Updated: Jun 16, 2012 12:23 IST

As Prime Minister left for two crucial back-to-back international summits on Saturday, India on Friday cautioned against trade restrictive measures and protectionism in the garb of pushing for green economy norms.

On a eight-day foreign tour, Singh will attend the seventh summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing countries (G-20) starting in the Mexican resort town of Los Cabos on June 18 and the Rio+20 Summit in Rio De Janeiro.

The Rio Summit, commencing on June 20, is being held 20 years after the first Earth Summit, a landmark gathering, in a renewed bid to rally the world behind a common environmental blueprint.

"We do not want trade restrictive measures or protectionism in the name of green growth," environment minister Jayanti Natarajan said briefing newsmen ahead of the Rio+20 Summit. In the run up to RIO+20, the theme of "Green Economy" has attracted wide attention.

India is of the view that "Green Economy" as a concept will succeed only if it enhances their ability to address poverty eradication, provides adequate policy space for national circumstances and priorities, and ensures that structural changes as a result of it do not lead to green protectionism and conditionalities.

Natarajan also said that Green Economy cannot replace or supplant sustainable development.

She said India will pitch for the principle of common but differentiated responsibility at the negotiating table at the Rio Summit.

India will try to make sure that the Rio principles are reaffirmed and all sutainable developments are viewed with the approach of equity and common but differentiated responsibility so that developing countries can have their share of development, she added.

The minister also said that financial and technological support from industrialised countries to developing nations are equally important to acheive any gradual transition to "Green Economy."

"The means of implementation are important for India," she said.

The Prime Minister left for Frankfurt on Saturday on his way to Los Cabos and is due to return home on June 23 after an overnight halt at Pretoria in South Africa.

The objectives of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development-2012, known as the Rio+20 Summit, are securing renewed Political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress made since Rio Conference and the remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes and addressing new and emerging challenges.

Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and Institutional Framework for sustainable development are the themes for the Summit to be attended by around 115 world leaders. It is the largest ever organized, with 50,000 delegates due to attend.

Natarajan also said that the G77 and China have stuck together to demand that the large principles of how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will function be agreed to before the world negotiates over areas for action.

Wide disagreements largely remain over two issues--thematic areas and SDGs.

India is of the view that the developed nations are pushing for an elaborate list of environmental concerns where countries need to take time-bound actions against fixed targets.

At the G-20 Summit meeting against the backdrop of economic gloom and Eurozone crisis, Prime Minister Singh is expected to pitch for globally coordinated policy response targeted to revive growth prospects worldwide on a sustainable basis.

The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the "sherpa"( a key aide) for Prime Minister Singh, is already at Los Cabos.

The Los Cabos summit "is arguably the most important G20 event since the London Summit in April 2009," according to the head of the Institute of International Finance Charles Dallara

On the sidelines of the Summit, Prime Minister Singh is due to have bilateral meeetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and the host Mexican President Felipe Calderon. No meeting has been scheduled so far with US President Barack Obama.

The Prime Minister is also due to have bilateral meetings with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and his Nepalese counterpart Baburao Bhattarai at Rio de Janeiro.

Prime Minister's adviser TKA Nair, National Security adviser Shivshankar Menon and foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai will be among others who are part of his delegation.

First Published: Jun 16, 2012 08:49 IST