India needs good governance to achieve UN goals: Somnath

September 10th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Somnath ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) India needs strong institutions and good governance to achieve the various millennium development goals (MDGs) laid down by the United Nations (UN), Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said here Wednesday.“To achieve MDGs, we need strong institutions and good governance. It is essential that the success and shortcomings of achieving the MDGs almost midway to the period should be reviewed to ascertain the progress made in realising these goals,” Chatterjee said at a function to launch the MDG report 2008.

Emphasising the need for community participation, the veteran politician said: “What is also essential is the people’s active participation in the decision-making process, besides removing the structural constraints that retard economic growth and human development.”

The MDGs were jointly laid by 147 nations under the guidance of the UN in 2000. These aim to make the world free from the scourge of poverty and backwardness. The goals, which include alleviating poverty, disease and hunger, reducing infant mortality, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, are targeted to be achieved by 2015.

The speaker, while saying that it was imperative that the goals do not remain mere declarations, stressed that there was no uniform approach to achieve these across the globe.

“Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger is the first and, I perceive, the foremost task as set forth by the MDGs,” he said.

He also said it was the duty of the developed world to acknowledge that the debt burden was a major constraint for the heavily indebted poor countries to achieve the goals.

“In this context, we welcome the implementation of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative and the G-8’s commitment to address the challenges of poverty, which will go a long way in helping the developing world to meet the MDG targets speedily.”

Though the speaker released the MDG report 2008 Wednesday, it has been embargoed for media publication till 8.30 p.m. Thursday.

Chatterjee also emphasised the role of parliament and said: “By using various parliamentary devices as instruments for enforcing accountability and formulating policy, parliamentarians have also been playing a vital role in addressing the challenges of national development and the prioritisation of the MDGs.”

Calling for a review of the progress made so far in achieving the goals, the speaker said India could reduce poverty by 50 percent by 2015.

“In fact, India has set a significantly more ambitious target to reduce the poverty ratio to about 11 percent (from the current 27.5 percent) by 2012,” he said.

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