PM suggests 8-point Social Development Strategy for IBSANovember 14th, 2007 - 2:25 am ICT by admin
In his speech during his intervention at the ‘Social Development Strategy for IBSA here, Singh said the importance of social development was recognized by the three-member group as far back as in the Brasilia Declaration of 2003.
He said, “Based on our common experiences, I would like to suggest that a Social Development Strategy could emerge from the IBSA process having some of the following eight elements:
Rapid Economic Growth: It is only within the framework of a rapidly expanding economy can we generate the necessary resources for investing in social development. We have to have faith in the creativity and enterprise of our people and create favourable conditions for these to have full play.
Inclusivity: Economic growth cannot happen in isolation. Unless all sections of society derive benefits from such growth and develop a stake in the growth process, we will courting social and political instability. Disparities of any type - regional, gender, inter-community, inter-group - harm the growth process in the long run. However, addressing this aspect is easier said than done. All of us have diverse experiences, which we need to share and learn from.
Human Resource Development: While growth processes may be favourable, it is essential that people are empowered and enabled to become active participants in these processes. The key to this is education and skill development. Adequate resources need to be committed to education and skill development at all levels.
Focus on equitable infrastructure: Often, the infrastructure needs of the poor are neglected. But they are important facilitators of growth. There must be adequate investment in rural infrastructure and connectivity, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, health care and social welfare.
Short term distress mitigation: While most social development investments pay off in the medium term, the problems of unemployment and threatened livelihoods need to be addressed in the short term. Focused employment generation programmes linked to food security initiatives can provide immediate relief and succour.
Grassroots Institution Building: There is a need to ensure participatory democracy and effective governance at local levels. These institutions facilitate ownership of governance processes and social and economic mobility. Civil society action must be encouraged.
Environmentally sound strategies: Any growth strategy should be designed to minimize its adverse environmental effects. The world cannot sustain highly consumptive societies on the pattern of some of the developed economies. We need to search for more sustainable alternatives for the good of all.
Integration into the Knowledge Economy: As the world advances into the knowledge era, education, skills and access to knowledge become key drivers of development. We need conscious efforts to ensure that all sections are in a position to participate in this transition - which takes us back to the need for human development.” (ANI)
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