Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday flayed rich nations for what he called little evidence of support for the developing world in implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Singh also seemed to share the sentiments of the Group of 77,a coalition of developing countries,which decried the inability of the United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that concluded here,to come out with a credible blueprint for action.
Economic development,social inclusion and environmental sustainability are all equally critical as components of sustainable development. The task before us is to give practical shape and content to this architecture in a manner that allows each country to develop according to its own national priorities and circumstances, Singh said at the Rio+20 plenary. Earlier,Quamrul Chowdhury,the lead negotiator for G-77+China,had criticised the Rio document as something without any depth,without any bite.
Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan too criticised the lack of political will among rich countries to give finances and allow easy flow of technology to the developing world for their sustainable development initiatives. The absence of US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the conference was conspicuous even as the negotiators of the developed world ensured that the rich nations dont take any explicit commitments on funding of SDGs-related efforts of developing countries. While Obama has the impending presidential elections to focus on,Merkels alibi was the euro zone crisis.
The Rio text is silent on the size of money required for sustainable development but called for a new intergovernmental process to produce a report that evaluate the funding requirement. A 30-member group will work on this and report by 2014.
One gain for India and other developing countries would be the announcement by six major development banks to create a $175-billion platform for mass transport systems over the next decade aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.