India has urged the United Nations to end poverty in all forms everywhere, ensure food security, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Submitting the Voluntary National Review report on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to the UN recently, India has said that it has played an important role n shaping the SDGs. “This has meant that the country’s national development goals are mirrored in the SDGs,” it pointed out. On ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, the report said that there is compelling evidence that the rapid growth India has achieved following the economic reforms initiated in 1991 has led to significant reduction in poverty.
“Poverty has fallen across all economic, social and religious groups nationally and in all states in the post- reform era,” it said. Noting that significant progress has been made in improving food and nutrition security, the report said, “The absolute levels of stunted and underweight children, however, remain high.” India has taken significant strides in improving various health parameters, the report said, adding, “The Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 57 in 2005-06 to 41 per 1,000 births in 2015-16.”
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The report also pointed out that numerous measures have been put in place by the government for promoting gender equality. Referring to infrastructure, the report said all forms of transportation – roads, railways, civil aviation and waterways – are being rapidly expanded. “Road connectivity and electricity are being brought to all villages,” it said. “Further, India is making efforts to become an Information Technology and manufacturing hub through its ‘Make in India’ campaign. These efforts have greatly accelerated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and helped the country sustain an average growth of 7.5 per cent during the last three financial years (2014-15 to 2016-17),” it added.
While working towards revitalising the global partnership for the achievement of SDGs, the report said India reaffirms the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The report pointed out that despite significant efforts for domestic resource mobilisation, India is unlikely to gather sufficient revenues for achieving the SDGs. “Therefore, India reiterates that the developed countries have an essential obligation to provide financial assistance to the developing countries, especially for global public goods such as climate change mitigation and control of pandemics, so that they can fully achieve the SDGs,” it said.
The report said that India will continue to pursue the implementation of the SDG agenda through close collaboration between the national and sub-national governments as well as active participation of all other relevant stakeholders. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs over the next 15 years. The SDGs are the continuum of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were under implentation from January 2000 to Decemeber 2015. These 17 SDGs are being implemented from January 2016 to December 2030. As part of its oversight responsibility, NITI Aayog has led the process of the report preparation. A multi-disciplinary Task Force was constituted to coordinate the review and process documentation.