Feb 06, 2014
India’s External Affairs minister, Salman Khurshid, warned that continuation of shortages of water and food would lead the world to more tensions and conflicts.
New Delhi: A host of international leaders who gathered at the inaugural session of the 14th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) in New Delhi urged the world to stop doing business as usual and pro-actively engage in the task of contributing towards sustainable development.
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 TERI 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.
Lauding TERI for its futuristic vision and intellectual ability, Annan stated that collectively the present generation is better off than any other generation could have imagined. While he praised Asia for spectacular economic growth,he lamented that the same could not be evenly distributed as millions of people are living on the brink of starvation.
Governments must do more to encourage cooperation between ministries and various stakeholders for global sustainability. Accelerating the shift to sustainability will require leveraging the full ability of all human beings, Annan said. Talking about the plight of women, Annan said that sexual violence against women is an affront to our society. “In India and elsewhere, women are still being denied equal opportunities,” he remarked.
Annan said that the private sector was the main engine of global economy and it accounted for two thirds of natural resources and called upon the business community to drive research to facilitate transition to green economy. “Government policies should meet private needs. Our local economy depends on these global challenges,” he said.
Pachauri warned that widespread poverty is the biggest obstacle against global sustainability. Quoting Nelson Mandela, Pachauri said that overcoming poverty was an act of justice.“There is a serious challenge in ensuring water, food and energy security for all. While around 1.23 billion people have to do without electricity, women in many parts of the world have to walk for hours to collect water and fuel wood,” he said.Time has come to replace conventional means by the more recent innovations, Pachauri emphasised.
Pachauri cautioned that climate change was just one factor which would influence future water stress and cautioned against quick fix solutions and said that there was a need to stir up the soul of humanity. “We cannot treat the challenges ahead as those which require mere tinkering in the system. Any forum which focuses only on the economic front is doing disservice to humanity. It is our vision at TERI to focus on the real issues and not business as usual,” he said.
Salman Khurshid, India’s External Affairs minister, said that the mankind was at a very critical juncture regarding the sustainability of environment. “The gathering of world leaders is a reflection of the importance of the theme of the 14th edition of DSDS. The theme focusing on attaining food, energy and water security is topical and critical,” he said.
Khurshid warned that continuation of shortages of water and food would lead the world to more tensions and conflicts. “No global effort to live in peace can succeed without sustainable development and sustainable development is not possible without food, energy and water scarcity,” he said.