Top UN development official Achim Steiner visits India to strengthen areas of cooperation between the UN and India
06 December 2017
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General, Vice-Chair UN Development Group and UNDP Administrator, arrives in India today on a two-day visit to meet government partners and explore opportunities to deepen collaboration on key development issues. This is Steiner’s first visit to India since assuming his responsibilities as a top UN development official earlier this year. Prior to this appointment, he led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy.
In addition to government officials, he will also meet India’s business sector to appreciate and reiterate support for India’s strong leadership of Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, and South-South cooperation.
“Over the past two decades, India has made huge economic strides and lifted millions out of poverty. India is pivotal for the world to fulfil the central promise of Agenda 2030 – leave no one behind. I look forward to exploring meaningful ways in which the UN can partner with India’s government to support its national development priorities and global aspirations,” Steiner said.
India has created several successful and innovative development initiatives and has deep knowledge that can be shared with other developing countries. Achim Steiner’s discussions with Indian officials will explore how the UN-India partnership can be expanded to support and strengthen the country’s vision of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas.’
The Indian government was instrumental in shaping the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. India’s rapid and stable economic growth, an emerging innovation ecosystem and ambitious social legislations and programmes make it key to the achievement of the SDGs. As a leader in South-South cooperation, it is not just India’s scale but its active leadership in the wider region that will accelerate global progress towards the SDGs.
While in India, Steiner will meet the Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, to express his appreciation for the progress being made on implementing the SDGs in India, and India’s enhanced contribution to the UN Development Partnership Fund. He will also call upon the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, to accelerate joint action in addressing climate change and urbanization, given that by 2030, India will have 7 mega cities with populations over 10 million.
Recognizing the pressing need to invest in efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risk, the UNDP Administrator will meet Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. He will also explore ways in which India and the UN can develop innovative tools and mechanisms for the SDGs with Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, the custodian of Agenda 2030 in India.
India’s business sector is a major stakeholder for the SDGs. Steiner together with Kant will lead a roundtable conversation with leading private sector players on the role business in the SDGs, organised jointly by the UN and FICCI. At the roundtable, moderated by Secretary-General FICCI, Dr. Sanjaya Baru, participants will discuss how to drive more capital for the SDGs.
Also taking place during the visit will be meetings with senior officials such as Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, and Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
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