Achieving sustainable development goals, especially eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, and combating climate change requires the government, private sector and civil society working together, TS Trimurti, Permanent Representative of India to UN, has said.
“In the face of Covid-19, it has become even more necessary to sustain a multi-pronged approach to not just achieve the SDGs by 2030 but also build back better,” the permanent representative to the UN said while speaking at The Economic Times SDGs Summit 2020.
Trimurti took cognisance of how Covid-19 has had a disruptive impact on the SDGs, added that the current situation demands a fresh mindset where approach to development should be human centric and thus when taking new initiatives during and after Covid, stakeholders should never forget to put the human being at the center of it all.
Speaking further at actions being taken at UN level, Trimurti said that the UN Secretary General, realising the need for innovative solutions, in 2019, had convened the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance as part of a strategy for financing the 2030 agenda.
“It has more than 30 influential leaders from the corporate world with the aim to leverage their insights for mobilising resources for sustainable development,” he said.
Further, he said that at the recently concluded SDG Business Forum, the UNDP, the International Chamber of Commerce and the UN Global Compact have established the Covid-19 private sector global facility — a global initiative and collaboration bringing together public and private sector partners recover better from the pandemic.
Trimurti elaborated the need for multi-pronged approach further and said that according to UNCTAD, developing countries face an average annual funding gap of around $2.5 trillion in SDG-related sectors.
“The gap is likely to widen due to the impact of Covid-19. It is evident that this target cannot be achieved by the government alone. While public financing remains critical, private sources of investment are essential to meet the scale required. This is where the partnership between stakeholders – both national and global — become crucial for achievement of SDGs,” he said.
Speaking from an India perspective, the permanent representative said India’s presence in the security council and its priorities will contribute to building back better and pave the way for the international community to achieve SDGs with a more inclusive and collective endeavor.
“India’s progress in SDGs is crucial for the entire world as the country is home to about 80% of the world population. India is committed to achieve the SDGs and we have mirrored the SDGs in our national development agenda – keeping sustainability and self-reliance as the focus of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he added.
Emphasising on the importance of SDGs, Trimurti said that the world stands at the cusp of a historic moment and the actions that stakeholders take today will define the future of generations to come.
“The Covid-19 pandemic provides us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to get things in order and we should use the SDGs as a springboard to bounce back faster and further in this decade of action,” he said, adding that India has been contributing substantially to help its fellow developing countries to achieve their SDGs.
“Our development partnership has evolved to become a complete and comprehensive framework touching upon the entire spectrum of human endeavour. Even during Covid, India has ensured medical supplies and humanitarian assistance to over 150 countries – reflecting our ethos of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”,” he further said.
Underlining the role of India in the world, Trimurti said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a clarion call that reforms in the responses, processes and character of United Nations is the need of the hour and India can no longer be kept out of the decision-making structures of UN.