United Nations: India has emphasised that an "unrelenting focus" on poverty eradication should remain at the core of UN's operational activities which must be closely aligned to national development plans even as it cautioned against "externally-imposed prescriptions".
Counsellor in the Indian Mission to the UN Amit Narang said that as the world transitions from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda presents a "meta-template" for development that has tangible implications for the "delivery" of developmental interventions by the UN System.
"An unrelenting focus on poverty eradication as the central and primary objective should therefore remain at the heart of UN's operational activities for development. This indeed was the mandate of the previous QCPR and this strategic direction must be maintained," he said.
In his statement on 'Operational Activities for Development Segment' at the 2016 Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council, Narang also said that the UN System must sharpen its tools to attack the problem of poverty more "directly".
He cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the special session of ECOSOC recently in which the Indian leaders had said that while there has been progress over the past 70
years, eradication of poverty remains the greatest unfinished business of the 20th century.
"A universal yet differentiated agenda should not mean a one-size-fits-all approach. As the 2030 Agenda itself mandates, the implementation of the SDGs must be acutely conscious of the different starting points and circumstances of countries," Narang said.
He added that the operational activities of the UN system must also be responsive to and closely aligned to national development plans. "Externally imposed prescriptions should be avoided and national policy space respected," he said.
Narang said while India appreciates the need of enhancing support to humanitarian activities, it is carefully assessing the proposals which favour a so-called bridging of the humanitarian-developmental divide.