India hails ambitious development agenda adopted by UN General Assembly

United Nations, Sep 2 (IANS) The UN General Assembly has adopted an ambitious 17-point agenda stretching over the next 15 years for eradicating poverty and promoting global development that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called a “paradigm shift” in approaches to eradicating inequality.

The program called Agenda 2030 now goes for adoption to the world summit, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 149 other heads of state or government, later this month. The agenda replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted at the 2000 summit and expires at the end of this year.

Hailing Agenda 2030’s vision, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji told the General Assembly on Tuesday that “poverty can be eradicated within the span of a single generation” if it is fulfilled.

More ambitious than the MDG, Agenda 2030 approaches sustainable development as the path to peace and sets 17 goals that range from eradicating poverty and promoting gender equality to combating climate change and using technology for development.

Mukerji welcomed, in particular, the technology component of Agenda 2030, which he said had been a “prime pre-occupation” of the Indian delegation. “The Technology Facilitation, based as it will be in the United Nations, holds the potential of allowing the international community to leverage the incredible and transformative power of technology for the task of poverty eradication,” he said.

As a global technology leader, India lobbied for the Technology Facilitation Program, which is to create an inter-agency team on utilising science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals, create an online platform for sharing information on such initiatives and hold an annual forum.

About the whole Agenda 2030, Mukerji said: “For India, and indeed for the entire developing world, the vision for the future cannot but have the eradication of poverty as its overarching goal.” Praising its “holistic approach”, he said: “Our own experience has shown that inclusive economic growth, industrialization, infrastructure development, skill development and innovation are all essential for the eradication of hunger and poverty.”

Ban said that Agenda 2030 took a radical approach by linking peace and security to sustainable development, rule of law and access to justice. This gave the world new ways of dealing with the root causes of major crises like the migration problem and gender inequality, he added.

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