UNITED NATIONS: Asserting that the onus of global sustainability cannot be placed on developing countries alone, India has said that sovereign countries should not be subjected to external oversight mechanism to measure their progress in achieving sustainable development goals.
"Every country faces specific challenges to achieve sustainable development and may follow different approaches, visions, models and tools, in accordance with the national circumstances and priorities.
"So I feel no sovereign country should be subjected to external oversight mechanism or benchmark with regard to progress on these goals," Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in her address to the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament yesterday.
Addressing the high-level gathering of speakers of parliament from across the world, Mahajan stressed that the "onus" of global sustainability cannot be placed on developing countries alone and developed countries must lead by example.
"A global common approach to sustainability demands that developed countries, which bear the historical responsibility for climate change and have better financial and technological resources, must lead by example.
"Therefore a strong global partnership is needed to support the efforts of developing countries in the spirit of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the entire world is a family) and like interdependence in a family, all must share the responsibility according to individual capacity and capability," she said in her address titled 'Placing Democracy at the Service of Peace and Sustainable Development, Building the World the People Want'.
She said while nations aspire to live in a world that is peaceful, provides equality, human rights and dignity of labour and is free from discrimination, poverty and hunger, the question must be asked how democracy can deliver effectively to promote peace and sustainable development.
"We must empower democracy by ensuring that it is participatory and inclusive to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable sections of society," she said noting that one of the Sustainable Development Goals seeks to provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Mahajan further said that good governance is an enabler for development.
"Inclusive participation together with good governance will promote peace and sustainable development," she said.
She added that the post-2015 development agenda clearly emphasises ending poverty and hunger, ensuring gender equality, empowerment of women and girls and reducing inequality within and among countries.