On his second day in New York, PM Narendra Modi addressed the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015, for adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.
He began the speech quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to “care for a world we shall not live to see” and outlined the importance of working together, as a community, towards the betterment of humanity.
“we are here today in the United Nations because we all believe that international partnership must be at the centre of our efforts, whether it is development or combating climate change.”
He emphasized support for the concept of equality in the form of financial inclusion, women empowerment, and equal representation in world bodies. He also urged the developed nations to assist others by sharing their technology, innovations and finances; and turn them into “an effective instrument for global public good, not just private returns.”
As representative of a nation that calls its birthplace “mother”, he urged that protecting mother Earth should be a priority rather than maintaining current comforts.
“When we speak only of climate change, there is a perception of our desire to secure the comforts of our lifestyle. When we speak of climate justice, we demonstrate our sensitivity and resolve to secure the future of the poor from the perils of natural disasters.”
Progress towards sustainable development is a multi-pronged action plan. He assured that the Indian government does not take it lightly and has taken many purposeful strides towards achieving this goal.
“We are focusing on the basics: housing, power, water and sanitation for all – important not just for welfare, but also human dignity. These are goals with a definite date, not just a mirage of hope.”
But no progress can occur without effective changes in thinking and perspectives in all walks of modern society, which he suggested can be inculcated through a global education program where future generations learn from a relationship with nature.