Burden of sustainability cannot be placed on poor: Sumitra Mahajan

Stressing on the need for an equitable development agenda, India has said that the burden of sustainability cannot be placed on the poor and livelihood concerns of the underprivileged not be compromised for lifestyle interests of others.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014, 14:41 PM IST

New York: Stressing on the need for an equitable development agenda, India has said that the burden of sustainability cannot be placed on the poor and livelihood concerns of the underprivileged not be compromised for lifestyle interests of others.

"We strongly believe that our efforts to mainstream sustainability will remain hollow unless we are able to confront the issues of inequity in consumption of global resources and reducing the unsustainable ecological footprints of the developed countries," Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said here at a preparatory committee meeting of the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments.

Addressing a session on 'Lessons from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the future post-2015 development agenda', the Speaker said: "sustainability is a key element in current global discussions, and rightly so. At the same time, the burden of sustainability cannot be placed on the poor."

"Livelihood concerns of the underprivileged cannot be compromised for lifestyle interests of others," she said.

Mahajan noted that the Indian elections held in the summer this year symbolised a great yearning for growth and development by the people of India.

"India is committed to working with the international community to craft an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable development agenda with poverty eradication at its core," she said extending the Indian Parliament's support.

The Indian ideal of frugality and of no wastage need to be embraced in combating climate change and sustainable development, she said adding that countries in Asia, including India, have contributed tremendously in reducing global poverty rates.

She stressed that ending poverty must be the central and overriding objective of the new development agenda for the post-2015 period.

"The new development agenda should be about development, for the promotion of rapid and sustained inclusive growth to make poverty and hunger history," she said.

In the new development agenda, we must also have the political wisdom and courage to look for a transformative shift in solutions. Business as usual will not be sufficient, she added.