Sustainability must be at the heart of SDGs: Kofi Annan
Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
New Delhi: Global leaders who converged at the 14th edition of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi on February 2 called for immediate attention for the conservation of natural resources like oceans which are shared by the global community. The leaders unanimously urged for stepping up efforts towards incremental and transformational changes at the global level.
Leaders from all over the world including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Danny Faure, Indian ministers Salman Khurshid and Farooq Abdullah and TERI Director General R K Pachauri, urged for an immediate full stop to those activities which are against the spirit of sustainability and called for individual efforts from all corners of the planet.
Danny Faure, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, said that the world is looking forward to determined leaders who are capable of reversing current adverse trends. Faure saidthat there could be no sustainable development without blue economy. Sustainable development goals that will succeed the MDGs need to ensure sustainable blue economy, Fuare emphasised.
Terming traditional economic development models as dangerous, Faure said that the theme of this year’s DSDS, which is attaining energy, water, and food security could not be realised without paying attention to the blue economy.“The oceans are either becoming too warm or too cold to sustain life which forms an important component of our food,” he warned.
He stated that the Blue Summit in Abu Dhabi called on people worldwide to address the challenges looming on the oceans. Faure said that India and Seychelles were natural blue economy partners. “Our partnership is a catalyst for a wider development of blue economy. It is through such partnerships that we can work against the exploitation of our systems. Oceanic development could be a catalyst for change,” he said.
Faure also urged for the need to define the framework for the sustainability of oceans. “We need to push hard for the blue economy to deliver to its promises. Small islands are important for global development. We need determined leaders who take bold decisions for positive results,” he said.
Pachauri said that the failure of the world in providing larges sections of society with water, food and energy calls for immediate remedial steps. “We do not necessarily need to go through failure to set things right,” he said. Talking about TERI, Pachauri said that this organisation was established with the objectives of sustainable development and at present has a staff of over 1,200 employees and is the largest institute of its kind.
Abdullah said that the world could survive only with the spirit of togetherness. There is no danger to this world till we are together, he said. “If we all work together, each one of us would be safe. World is like a human body. If one section of the human body goes out of gear, the entire body goes out of gear,” he said.
Abdullah called for improved efforts towards renewable energy. “We have 120 billion people and 40% of our people do not have access to energy. The greed in the man should change. India needs energy for growth, hence forgive us for using nuclear energy until renewable energy is able to cope up with our demand,” he said.
Annan stated that by the year 2030 the world would need 30% more water, 40% more energy and 50% more food. “We are still at a long distance from our goal of decent way of life. Unfortunately, our existing model does not value fresh water and biodiversity. The challenges are growing. Each year 10 million people in India move to cities in search of better life,” he said.
Anan said that making a transition to green economy was perhaps the biggest challenge of our economy. “These challenges cannot be set right by tapering around the edges. It is the poor who are most vulnerable and suffer most. Sustainability must be at the heart of global development,” he said.
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