There is widespread
concern to make the WSSD an event that catalyses more concrete action than earlier.
Dr A Ramachandran emphasized that the
challenge of global sustainable development is so significant that it is reflected in the
very title of this event. In this context, ensuring sustainable livelihoods is a major
challenge for India, as indeed is the complexity of poverty elimination.
Honble Mr T R Baalu drew
attention to the close association between the ministry and TERIa significant
example of government support for NGOs. Such partner-ships are vital for the success of
human society. The Indian concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (global
brother-hood) means sharing each others trials and tribulations. Development must be
sustainable and environment-friendly. With growing poverty, hunger, illiteracy
global security will be under threat unless timely action is taken.
Dr Jan P Pronks Keynote Address (read out in
his absence) made a strong case for a critical analysis of what the WSSD has to achieve
and how. It presented the following primary concerns.
For the WSSD to be called a summit, heads of state and governments
must make every effort to participate.
For the WSSD to be a truly global summit, all countries must be
present and negotiate a globally agreeable agenda.
WSSD is not an environmental conference but one on sustainable
development, including economics, social affairs, and the environment.
We must decide on those aspects of Rio that have been forgotten;
many areas of Agenda 21 still lag in imple-mentation.
We must issue the political message that there is place for everyone
within the system. The feelings of aliena-tion and frustration among many people in the
world must be addressed.
Rather than issuing recommendations, WSSD must reach concrete
decisions, translated into concrete programmes, supported by high levels of commitment to
While the notion of a global partnership need not be
adhered to by all countries, but we could start working towards such a partnership in
Johannesburg. Ten years on from Rio, we owe it to the people, the planet, and to
Honble Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayees Inaugural
Address constantly underscored the importance of sustainable development and of events
such as DSDS, which he hopes will present the issues on the agenda for Johannesburg
clearly and unambiguously.
He assured that India will further encourage and strengthen
partnerships between government, NGOs, and civil institutions in every area of
development. We need to make sustainable development and globalization work for the poor.
Poverty is multi-dimensional, extending beyond money incomes to education, health care,
skills enhancement, and political participation. It is also determined by access to
natural resources, clean water, and air and advancement of cultural and social
The necessity for transferring more resources from
developed countries for poverty alleviation and environ-mental sustainability is now being
accepted by the opinion makers. The first and foremost task in sustainable development is
to fulfil the aspiration of the poor and deprived to live a better life. No purpose will
be served by focusing only on past failures; we need to move ahead. WSSD should come up
with priority actions and a consensus for harnessing the forces of globalization and
sustainable development for abolishing poverty.
Dr R K Pachauri spoke about how everybody gathered
at DSDS is striving to bring sustainable development into the mainstream. He also
presented to the Honble Prime Minister a forward-looking document titled Defining an Integrated Energy Strategy for India.
He thanked all the speakers, sponsors, delegates, and mediapersons for their overwhelming
response to the Summit.