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“Just as our vision behind Agenda 2030 is lofty, our goals are comprehensive. It gives priority to the problems that have endured through the past decades. And, it reflects our evolving understanding of the social, economic and environmental linkages that define our lives… The sustainable development of one-sixth of humanity will be of great consequence to the world and our beautiful planet.”
– Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
“The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, provide a coherent, holistic framework for addressing these challenges and their interconnections. (…) They require member states to address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner. Their implementation must embody the principles of inclusiveness, integration and ‘leaving no one behind’.”
– António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
We are at the brink of a global transformation. The international community, through the United Nations, has set in motion a historic plan – 17 Sustainable Development Goals – that aims to build a more prosperous, more equal, and more secure world by the year 2030.
The 17 SDGs and 169 targets are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by 193 Member States at the UN General Assembly Summit in September 2015, and which came into effect on 1 January 2016. These goals are the result of an unprecedented consultative process that brought national governments and millions of citizens from across the globe together to negotiate and adopt the global path to sustainable development for the next 15 years.
The SDGs and targets will stimulate action in the following critically important areas: poverty, hunger, education, health and well-being, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth and decent work, infrastructure, industry and innovation, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities, consumption and production, climate action, ecosystems, peace and justice, and partnership. This comprehensive agenda recognises that it is no longer sufficient just to focus on economic growth, but on fairer and more equal societies, and a safer and more prosperous planet. It recognises that the tasks of peace, justice, environmental protection, and industrial development are not disconnected from each other, but part of the same change. It recognises, above all, that global and interconnected challenges can only be fought with global and interconnected solutions. It is an ambitious plan that will require a renewed global partnership between governments, businesses, the civil society, and individuals. As we make progress towards achieving the 169 targets, we will reorient national and global development on a more sustainable, more resilient path.
At the core of this global agenda for 2030 is the principle of universality: ‘Leave No One Behind’. It is critical to the implementation of these targets that they should be relevant to all governments and actors. Development in all its dimensions must be inclusive of all people, everywhere, and should be built through the participation of everyone, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised.
The Government of India is strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs, as evidenced by the statements of the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers at national and international meetings. India’s national development goals and its “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” or “development with all, and for all,” policy initiatives for inclusive development converge well with the SDGs, and India will play a leading role in determining the success of the SDGs, globally. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted, “These goals reflect our evolving understanding of the social, economic and environmental linkages that define our lives.”.
NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s premier think tank, has been entrusted with the task of coordinating the SDGs. NITI Aayog has undertaken a mapping of schemes as they relate to the SDGs and their targets, and has identified lead and supporting ministries for each target. They have adopted a government-wide approach to sustainable development, emphasising the interconnected nature of the SDGs across economic, social and environmental pillars. States have been advised to undertake a similar mapping of their schemes, including centrally sponsored schemes.
In addition, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has been leading discussions for developing national indicators for the SDGs. State governments are key to India’s progress on the SDG Agenda and several of them have already initiated action on implementing the SDGs.
State governments are key to India’s progress on the SDG Agenda as they are best placed to ‘put people first’ and to ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’. Many of the Government’s flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India are at the core of the SDGs. State and local governments play a pivotal role in many of these programmes.
The role of local governments is equally important; 15 of the 17 SDGs directly relate to activities undertaken by local governments in the country. State governments are paying keen attention to visioning, planning, budgeting, and developing implementation and monitoring systems for the SDGs
Advocating the broad-based consultative process that characterises the new global agenda process, the United Nations in India supported the participation of civil society organisations, think tanks and the Indian media in discussions at intergovernmental negotiations, seminars on financing for development and sustainable development and side sessions at the International Conference on Financing for Development at Addis Ababa and during the General Assembly in New York.
The UN Country Team in India supports NITI Aayog in its efforts to address the interconnectedness of the goals, to ensure that no one is left behind and to advocate for adequate financing to achieve the SDGs. In close collaboration with NITI Aayog and partners, the UN has supported thematic consultations on the SDGs to bring together various state governments, central ministries, civil society organisations and academia to deliberate on specific SDGs.
The UN in India currently supports state governments in localising the SDGs to address key development challenges at the state level.
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