The Covid pandemic has squeezed funds for achieving Agenda 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the challenge is not to lose the momentum by ensuring continued funding, top diplomat T S Tirumurti said on Tuesday.
Tirumurti, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted decades of developmental progress on many fronts, pushing billions into poverty.
This has caused the most damaging humanitarian and economic crisis since World War Two, especially for the more vulnerable countries, he said.
"The pandemic has effectively squeezed the funds available to achieve Agenda 2030 in this decade of action and diverted them for more pressing humanitarian requirements," Tirumurti said while addressing the SDG Summit, 2021, virtually.
However, this shortfall has not been made up by any other source, he noted.
"The challenge is therefore not to lose towards the momentum of Agenda 2030 that seeks to attain Sustainable Development Goals.
"We need to ensure continued funding from multiple sources and bring in digital innovations and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) to incentivise multiple stakeholders towards the same goal," Tirumurti observed.
When discussions on SDGs took place and they were finalised, an important principle was kept in mind -- it was to preserve the balance between the environment, social and economic pillars.
Subsequently, when the SDGs were discussed in the context of pathways to achieve them, there was a need to be conscious about maintaining this balance and not tilt excessively towards the environment or the economic side, he said.
"When the world is reeling under the pandemic, we need to recover better by focussing on all the three pillars and not just on one in exclusion to the other. Otherwise, it will be self-defeating," Trimurti said.
He asserted that India is walking the talk on SDGs and has set an example about ways to localise them.
For the successful implementation of the Agenda 2030, especially in a country like India with a population of 1.3 billion, a holistic, coherent, and integrated approach at the sub-national, national and regional level is imperative, Trimurti said.
He added the Niti Aayog is coordinating this aspect and developing SGD Vision Document at sub-national and local levels.
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