Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for efforts to increase investment in fulfilling the SDGs and find solutions to address the debt risks faced by many countries while also noting that multilateral financial institutions should be reformed to ensure that finance is accessible to those in need.
In a video message during G20 Development Ministers’ Meeting here on Monday, the Prime Minister also said that gender equality and women’s empowerment are crucial to achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Noting that development is a core issue for the Global South, he said these countries were severely impacted by the disruptions created by the global Covid pandemic and the food, fuel, and fertilizer crises because of geo-political tensions have delivered another blow.
“In such circumstances, the decisions you make carry great significance for humanity as a whole. I strongly believe that it is our collective responsibility not to let the Sustainable Development Goals fall behind. We must ensure that no one is left behind. It is imperative for this group to send a strong message to the world that we have an action plan to achieve this,” he said.
“Our efforts must be comprehensive, inclusive, fair, and sustainable. We should increase investment in fulfilling the SDGs and find solutions to address the debt risks faced by many countries. Multilateral financial institutions should be reformed to expand the eligibility criteria, ensuring that finance is accessible to those in need,” he added.
PM Modi said his government has made efforts to improve people’s life in more than hundred Aspirational Districts, which were pockets of under-development.
“Our experience shows that they have now emerged as the catalysts of growth in the country. I urge the G20 Development Ministers to study this model of development. It may be relevant as you work towards accelerating Agenda 2030.”
He said India’s efforts were not limited to women’s empowerment but women-led development.
“In India, we hold great respect for rivers, trees, mountains, and all elements of nature. Traditional Indian thought promotes a pro-planet lifestyle. Last year, along with the UN Secretary-General, I launched Mission LiFE – Lifestyle. I am glad that this group is working to develop a set of High-Level Principles on LiFE. This would be a significant contribution to climate action,” he said.
“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are crucial to achieving the SDGs. In India, we are not limited to women’s empowerment. Ours is a women-led development. Women are setting the agenda for development and are also the agents of growth and change. I urge you to adopt a game-changing Action Plan for Women-led Development,” he added.
PM Modi said one of the important issues before the ministers is the growing data divide.
“High-quality data is critical for meaningful policy-making, efficient resource allocation, and effective public service delivery. Democratization of technology is an important tool to help bridge the data divide,” he said.
PM Modi said that in India, digitalization has brought about a revolutionary change.
“Technology is being used as a tool to empower people, make data accessible, and ensure inclusivity. India is willing to share its experience with partner countries. I hope that your discussions will result in tangible actions to promote data for discourse, data for development and data for delivery in developing countries.”
PM Modi said that Varanasi is a fitting location for the G20 Development Ministers Meeting.
“Kashi has been a centre of knowledge, discussion, debate, culture, and spirituality for centuries. It has the essence of India’s diverse heritage and serves as a convergence point for people from all parts of the country. I am delighted that the G20 Development agenda has reached Kashi as well.”
He said the “spirit of Kashi” is energized by India’s timeless traditions and urged the visiting ministers to explore and experience the spirit of the city.
“I say this not only because Kashi is my constituency. I am confident that experiencing the Ganga Aarti and visiting Sarnath will inspire you to achieve your desired results,” he said. (ANI)