Can Bharat lead Third World in Antalya, Paris, and Nairobi? Can Bharat as an emerging power lead the developing world in getting political and economic justice?
The world leaders have just concluded adopting 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets with an ambitious intention of alleviating global poverty by 2030. But there are miles to go before the actual implementations are seen on the ground. The statisticians from different countries are expected to meet in April next year to fix the indicators for the targets. One laudable thing is that unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was rather imposed by the developed world keeping in view their strategy for disbursing aid at their own whims and designs, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were worked out with the participation of all and the views of the civil society was solicited in the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Mixed progress was noted in all the 8 MDGs across the world. Many in the developing world had put in place policy structure and tried to mobilise resources to meet their targets. But the developed world which imposed the MDGs failed to live up to their commitments of rendering financial assistance. The commitment rendering assistance to the tune 0.7 per cent Gross National Income (GNI) proved to be elusive. Though the ODA from developed countries increased by 66 per cent in real terms in 2000-14, it only represented 0.29 per cent of GNI in 2014.
Transfer of technology, innovation and finance holds the key to alleviating poverty. The recipient developing country should create an enabling environment to absorb these three essential requirements, while the developed world should ensure that any such aid do not come with tags and conditions to suit their political intentions.
It is also an encouraging development in a multi-polar world that the developing countries are inching in their efforts for having a greater say in global politics. In today’s situation of conflict-torn world and emergence of new economic powers, the structure of the UN Security Council does not represent the contemporary realities. It is a happy development that after over two decades of long standing demand, the 69th Session of UNGA succumbed to the voices of the developing world and took a significant step forward to commence text-based negotiations on reforms of UNSC. This was possible due to the efforts of Sam Kutesa of Uganda who was the president of 69th UNGA and Courtney Rattary (of Jamaica member of CARICOM group) who is the chair of UN Intergovernmental Negotia-tions of Security Council Reforms. The President of the 70th UNGA, Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark assured to facilitate the conclusion of the negotiation during this term.
Can Bharat as an emerging power lead the developing world in getting political and economic justice?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the initiative of convening of the heads of G4 countries (Brazil, Germany, Bharat, Japan) at the sidelines of UNGA to press for reforms in the UNSC. All the G4 countries are aspirants for permanent membership of UNSC and support each other’s candidature. The G4 leaders welcomed the efforts undertaken by member states of African Group, CARICOM and L-69 group. This was the first such meeting of G4 since 2004. China is one of the bones of contention for Bharat becoming a permanent member of UNSC.
One part of the UN reforms that PM Modi insisted is the right of the contributor country to UN Peacekeeping Mission to be consulted. Bharat is among the largest contributors to UN Peacekeeping operations with a contribution of over 180,000 troops in 48 out of 69 UN Peacekeeping missions so far. Bharat has pitched for passing of the long pending Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and that the world leaders need to agree to define terrorism instead of distinguishing “good terrorism” and “bad terrorism”. At Bharat’s insistence, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, October 2 was observed as International Day of Non-Violence at UN headquarters.
Bharat is an emerging economic power and has emerged as the top destination for FDI inflows in January-June 2015 with $31 billion leaving China behind with $28 billion and US with $27 billion according to Financial Times. The country needs more of long-term investment to rise to the level of $17.4 trillion economy like US and $10.3 trillion economy of China.
PM Modi has marketed Bharat well in his visit to UN and US in his effort for mobilising investment and transfer of technology and innovation so that development can be a booster for poverty alleviation.
UNGA is over. Ahead is G-20 Summit in Antalya in Turkey, UNFCCC CoP in Paris and WTO Ministerial in Nairobi. Bharat has a role to lead the developing world in getting
justice. Ashok B Sharma (The writer is senior columnist)