Madam Chair,

We would like to thank the Secretariat for the detailed reports on the Agenda Item “Sustainable Development. We associate ourselves with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77.

Madam Chair,

The world is today facing multiple inter-linked challenges of food, energy and fuel crisis, in addition to the potential threats from climate change. This only serves to underscore the importance of an integrated approach to sustainable development, with emphasis on its three pillars of economic development, social development and environmental protection. Such an approach is key to ensuring the achievement of the development goals, particularly the eradication of poverty and hunger. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of the full implementation of the Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, specifically the aspect of an international environment conducive to development.

We are cognizant of the special challenges faced by Small Island Developing States [SIDS] in their efforts to achieve sustainable development, which have been further exacerbated by climate change. We believe that the Barbados Programme of Action, and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation, provide a comprehensive basis to address these challenges. We are privileged to have been able to contribute to the development efforts of SIDS in the spirit of South-South solidarity. Our engagement with SIDS has included areas like capacity building, natural disaster preparedness, adapting to climate change and enhancing resilience. However, what is urgently required is enhanced financial and technical support by developed countries. We also support calls by SIDS for further strengthening of the SIDS Unit in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the UN.

Madam Chair,

We are conscious of the importance of addressing the impact of climate change. For a developing country like India, rapid and sustained economic growth and the achievement of the development objectives is of paramount importance. Nevertheless, India has been taking a variety of measures to ensure ecologically sustainable development. We have recently unveiled a comprehensive and ambitious National Action Plan on Climate Change. We are inter alia actively promoting use of compressed natural gas for public transport, improvement in energy efficiency in the major energy intensive sectors, use of Compact Fluorescent Lamps at low cost, procurement of electricity from renewable sources of energy and afforestation programmes. We have adopted an Energy Conservation Act and an Energy Efficiency Code for new commercial buildings. I may emphasize that our energy efficiency is among the best in the world. Further, even as we pursue economic growth, we are committed to our per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases not exceeding those of the developed countries.

Climate change can be overcome successfully only through a collaborative and cooperative global effort. Developing countries, despite have contributed the least to climate change, have to bear the brunt of its negative impact. They are also the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and lack the means to tackle them. Hence, our approach must be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, as well as the historical responsibility of developed countries.

In this regard, we reiterate our support to the multilateral negotiations taking place under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The outcome of these negotiations must be fair and equitable and recognize the principle that each citizen of the world has equal entitlement to the global atmospheric space. Developed countries must undertake deeper emission reduction commitments, and assist developing countries with financing, without diverting funds meant for development, and technology transfer. Greater international support is also needed to support the adaptation efforts of developing countries.

Let me particularly emphasize the importance of technology transfer. We need a change in mindset, a change that permits developing countries to have critical climate related technologies at concessional and preferential rates. If we are serious about confronting climate change as an unprecedented global challenge, we must be willing to balance rewards for innovators with the common good of humankind and introduce necessary flexibilities in the Intellectual Property Rights regime.

Madam Chair,

The conservation, protection and sustainable use of genetic resources is an important aspect of achieving sustainable development. In this regard, we reaffirm our support to the CBD. We welcome the decision taken at the 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties of the CBD on the adoption of a clear road map on negotiations on an international regime on access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, including the nature, scope and means of implementation of the regime. Such a regime should include provisions for mandatory disclosure of country of origin of genetic resources, prior informed consents in Intellectual Property Rights applications, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits, as required under the Convention.

Thank you, Madam Chair.