NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Arvind Panagariya has asked the developed countries to take a "visible lead" in addressing the challenge of global sustainability in a bid to help poor nations that are impacted disproportionately by natural disasters and health pandemics.
"In today's interdependent world however, the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend on much more than the efforts of individual countries. Only a joint effort in the spirit of global partnership can steer us towards our collective goals," Panagariya said yesterday at the first meeting of the High-Level Political Forum after the adoption of the landmark 2030 Agenda.
He said the international community will not achieve the global transformation it aspires for if nations do not work collectively to secure global public goods.
"Developed countries have a particularly important role to play in addressing global challenges and helping achieve the SDGs," he said.
"It is particularly important for developed countries to take the visible lead in addressing the sustainability challenge by rapidly reducing their per capita emissions, urgently moving towards sustainable lifestyles and providing enhanced resources to assist the poorer countries who are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters and health pandemics," he said.
The follow-up and review process at the UN should pay special attention to global efforts in mobilising financial and technological support for the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, he added.
Panagariya stressed that going forward, nations need to ensure that their efforts remain faithful to the letter and spirit of the ambition and political will shown to achieve the SDGs, particularly to end poverty within a generation and move the world towards a cleaner and more sustainable pathway for shared prosperity.
Noting that India attaches great importance to the SDGs, Panagariya said key policy initiatives and programmes undertaken by the Indian government, including 'Make in India', 'Digital India', 'Swachh Bharat', 'Skill India’, 'Smart Cities' and 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao', are directly reflected in the SDGs.
India's success in eradicating poverty made an important contribution to the global achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, he said, expressing confidence that "India will likewise make a central and invaluable contribution to the global achievement of the SDGs".
He outlined the steps taken by the government for creating an institutional framework for the implementation of SDGs in India.
He added that the government is committed to providing a platform to bring together all stakeholders like sub-national and state authorities, civil society organizations, academia, think-tanks and private sector to achieve greater convergence and efficiency in the follow-up process.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is also working with other ministries and departments to evolve national level indicators and build up statistical capacity to better collect and measure data for progress.
Panagariya expressed confidence that when India presents its first Voluntary National Review next year, it will be well on its way to a coordinated effort to implement the SDGs and monitor progress.