Udaipur: India is “uniquely positioned” with its G20 presidency to help the world bring on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the United Nations for 2030, given its good relations across the board and as a voice of the Global South, a senior UN official said on Sunday.
As India hosted the first Sherpa meeting under its G20 presidency, the UN Resident Coordinator for India Shombi Sharp said here that the recent months and years have seen multiple crises.
“India’s G20 presidency has come at a time when we are at the midpoint of the SDG agenda. But unfortunately, the recent months and years have brought multiple crises and as many have said we are off the track and there is a need to develop an urgent rescue,” Sharp said.
He said the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also called for an urgent rescue plan and the G20 is uniquely positioned to “bring us back on track”.
“India is particularly uniquely positioned at this point of time with its G20 presidency, given its relations across the board and as a voice of Global South, to help achieve our goals (on SDG),” Sharp said.
He was speaking at the first side event of the India’s G20 presidency and the topic was ‘Transforming lives: Accelerating implementation of SDGs’.
Adopted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly, the SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals “for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” that are intended to be achieved by 2030.
The SDG goals are: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and reduced inequalities.
The remaining goals are: sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.
At the start of the event, India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant welcomed the delegates for the first Sherpa meeting in Udaipur, also known as a ‘City of Lakes’, and said the city has seven lakes, must like the seven petals in the G20 logo for India’s presidency year to symbolise peace and harmony.
Kant said the theme for India’s G20 presidency has been chosen as ‘One earth, one family, one future’ because “we believe that everyone is part of one cosmos”.
“We may have different political views and different economic models, but we ultimately are part of one single universe and therefore it is necessary to break political boundaries to ensure peace and harmony in the world,” he said.
As sherpas, one of the key challenges before “all of us is how to bring about resilient and sustainable growth, how to accelerate the pace of creating better livelihoods, how do we ensure better learning outcomes, how do we improve health and quality of lives for all of us”, Kant said.
“There is a huge challenge before all of us. We are passing through a major geopolitical crisis,” he said, as he listed out crisis of climate action and climate finance, as also challenges of poverty, global debt, literacy and inflation, and slowdown of global growth.
“Amid all this, India is taking over the G20 presidency and we believe that every crisis is a huge opportunity and the leadership is about finding path-breaking solutions in the midst of a crisis. Therefore, we believe that it is the time to accelerate implementation of SDGs, as set out by the United Nations,” Kant said.
Others who participated in the meeting included Lakshmi Puri (former Assistant Secretary General at UN), Sanjeev Sanyal (member of Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister), Arunabha Ghosh of CEEW (Council on Energy, Environment and Water) and Shamika Ravi of Observer Research Foundation.