7th – 9th February 2001
The first Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in 2001, organized by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), marked a significant milestone in the global pursuit of sustainable development. The theme of the summit, ‘Poverty: The global challenge for governments, industry, scientists, and civil society’, highlighted the urgent need for concerted efforts from all sectors of society to address the complex issue of poverty. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the summit, the then Prime Minister of India, with Mr Maurice Strong, the President of the United Nations University for Peace, and Dr Arcot Ramachandran, Chairman of TERI.
The summit witnessed diverse participants, including government officials, politicians, environmentalists, NGO representatives, and members from the corporate world. This collective representation underscored the recognition that poverty eradication required a multifaceted approach involving stakeholders from various fields. Dr R. K. Pachauri, the Director-General of TERI, aptly described the event as the beginning of an important journey towards sustainable development.
The launch of the programme INSTEP (Initiative for Sustainable Technologies and Energy Platforms) became one of the significant highlights of WSDS 2001. It aimed to promote technology in the fields of energy, agriculture, and information to uplift rural communities. This initiative held the potential to address poverty holistically and enhance local capacities for sustainable development.
During the summit, in-depth discussions revolved around the persistent challenges associated with poverty, such as unequal resource distribution, limited access to education and healthcare, corruption, and environmental degradation. Recognizing the interconnected nature of these issues, participants emphasized the need for long-term commitment, collaboration, and a holistic approach to tackle the root causes of poverty effectively. WSDS 2001 served as a platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and generating innovative solutions to address the complex challenges of poverty alleviation.