President-elect of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)’s 70th session, Mogens Lykketoft, termed “unsustainable” the hitherto practised global economic model and underlined the need for changes in “way of life” to ensure sustainable development. Lykketoft, who also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the latter had endorsed his views in this regard. “I just came out of this very interesting conversation with your Prime Minister where he also underlined that for successful sustainable development, we have to change our way of life”, Lykketoft said.
Lykketoft made the remarks while giving a lecture on ‘UN at 70’ at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) at Sapru House in New Delhi. He said that although extreme poverty could be cut “in half” with the Millennium Development Goals in place, it cannot be eradicated in its entirety without changes in the model of global economic growth. “But with Sustainable Development Growth (SDGs) we emphasise that we cannot eradicate extreme poverty with the model for global economic growth of the past fifteen, or the past seventy, years, because it is both socially and environmentally unsustainable”, he said.
He also said that India was a significant contributor to the work of UN which brings a “respected and valued voice”. At the coming Summit of the 70th Session of the General Assembly, the world will come together to adopt the seventeen universal Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda.
“There is no doubt that the coming year will be one of the most important years in the history of the UN. And the first big test will be an ambitious outcome of COP-21 in Paris in December. As one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world, India’s level of ambition in this regard will be crucial”, he said.
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